How The Global Village Destroys Your Self-Worth

What is the global village? You’re living in it. It’s all around you.

You think it’s normal.

You think it’s normal that we have instantaneous connection with everybody on the entire planet.

The internet. Social media. The telephone. Skype. TV. Radio. Google. Medium.

  • You hear news about people you’ve never met in a place you’ve never been.

  • You watch documentary’s about situations that you’ve never experienced.

  • You can see your friend on the other side of the planet on a Skype call.

  • You have large amounts of knowledge about celebrities who don’t even know you exist.

All of these things are only possible because of The Global Village we live in today.

The Global Village is an electronic nervous system that connects all human beings together.

We have broken down time and space.

“The global village is as big as a planet and as small as the village post office” - Marshall Mcluhan

Marshall Mcluhan Image.jpg

The idea of the global village was born through Marshall Mcluhan. The genius who predicted the internet in the 1960’s.

We exist inside the world Mcluhan predicted.

"You will go to the telephone, describe your interests, your needs, your problems. With the help of computers and the library's of the world. All the latest material will be delivered just for you personally. This is where we’re heading under electronic information conditions”

You might think that a world of human beings that are electronically connected together is a good thing. Don’t be so sure.

This is an astronomical change that’s happened in a stunningly short period of time.

All electronic media was invented in the last 200 years.

Our brains don’t evolve that fast.

Our brains are wired to live in tribes of 150 people 20,000 years ago.

This is how the global village destroys your self-worth.

access to everyone in the world

How the global village ruins your self worth connected earth.jpg

"The global village is a world in which you have extreme concern with everybody else’s business. And much involvement in everybody else’s life” - Marshall Mcluhan (Said 50 years before social media was invented)

Think you’re a good guitar player? You’re no Jimmy Hendrix.

Want to become a writer? You’re no Ernest Hemingway. The is internet crammed full of bloggers and there are 3.4 million ebooks on Amazon.

Thinking of learning a new language? Check out Bill’s Youtube videos. He’s bilingual in 8 languages.

Thinking of getting into shape? Check out Stacy’s Instagram. She has a gorgeous body and has 2.7 million followers.

Our hierarchies of accomplishment are dizzingly vertical.

At every single turn someone is better.

No matter how good you are at something, there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent.

And not only do you have access to best individuals in the world of every single hierarchy, but these individuals are actively pushed into your consciousness.

While consciously we understand that these incredible people are thousands of miles away, the older subconscious part of our brain thinks that these people are part of our tribe.

Introducing: Dunbars Law.

Dunbar’s law - our limit of 150 friends

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar

While studying primates, Robin Dunbar discovered a correlation between the size of neo- cortex and the size of the average social group.

When applying this theory to humans, he arrived at a cognitive limit to the number of social relationships we can have.

150.

Try to have more than 150 friends and you start to forget names and relationships inevitably break down.

The number 150 seems to a number that roughly applies to all groups of humans:

  • Average Christmas card network: 153

  • Average number of wedding guests: 148

  • Most military companies top out at around 150

  • The average village size in 11th century England was 150

  • In the 18th century, the average English village had around

    160 residents

  • A 2011 study of 1.7 million twitter users showed that people maintain

    a stable relationship with 100-200 users.

  • The average number of Facebook friends is 150-200 (Numbers higher than this are not genuine relationships.

We don’t live in villages or tribes anymore. In the global village, we have the potential to have thousands of friends. Tens of thousands even.

But our brain can’t understand more than 150 relationships. This is clear evidence that our brain is built for the world of the past. Not the present.

One of the biggest reasons for life dissatisfaction today is that people feel as though they can’t find their place in the tribe.

Because every position is already taken.

It was easier for to be good at something when we lived in small rural communities. There was one chef. Two mechanics. One writer. One guitar player. One basketball star.

And before then, in our tribes. David was the best spear thrower. Lucy was the best chef. Mark was the best at skinning animals. Sophie knew how to find berries.

In these small communities, each person was a local hero who got to experience the serotonin-fuelled confidence of being the best. Of being truly useful.

The effects of the global village have been hanging over your head and you didn't even notice. Dashing your spirits every time you decide to develop yourself. Encouraging you to quit before you even start.

Our ancestors never dealt with this sense of inadequacy. Life may have been tough, but they had a firm identity within the tribe. They were truly valuable to the group.

In the global village, many of us are robbed of that pure sense of identity.

The global village and comparing yourself to others

“Comparison is the thief of joy”   - Theodore Roosevelt

“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt

Leon Festinger developed his social comparison theory in 1954. Social comparison theory states that individuals determine their own social and personal worth based on how they stack up against others.

As humans, we’re constantly evaluating ourselves across multiple domains: attractiveness, wealth, intelligence and success.

And this makes perfect sense. When you’re in a tribe of 150 people, how else are you supposed to determine your worth? Are you going to compare yourself to trees? Or clouds? Of course you compare yourself to others.

You need markers to determine who you are. These markers are the other people.

This mechanism worked flawlessly for the 150 person tribes our brain is evolved for.

We have a perfect comparison mechanism provided to us by nature, but this is completely distorted by our connected media environment.

If comparison was the thief of joy in the 1900’s, then comparison is the thief of sanity in 2019.

If a stone age girl wasn’t the prettiest in her tribe, the difference wasn’t likely to have been dramatic. Everybody had opportunities to to see others look at their worst. Tired. Sick.

But in the global village, society searches through millions of young women to select the best faces and bodies then perfects them in Adobe Photoshop.

Humans have always evaluated their personal attributes against those of their neighbours and for women in particular physical appearance is an important comparison.

What’s different now is that the pool of people you’re comparing yourself to is so much bigger.

Only the unusually attractive are showcased by the media. On magazine covers. In advertising. In mainstream Hollywood. On TV.

And let’s not forget social media.

Yes. Social media. Where everybody is twice as attractive as their real selves.

Where photos are selected carefully and photos are re-touched to perfection.

And it’s not just attractiveness. It’s wealth. It’s intelligence.

In the global village, every single personal attribute you have is weighed up against the absolute best of the whole 7 billion.

“The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow” - Bill Gates

So what do you do about it?

How the global village destroys your self worth sunsset.jpg

Ok. So we’ve identified the problem.

We have a natural mechanism in our brains that constantly compares ourselves to others.

But because our entire planet is connected, these comparisons are completely unrealistic.

Because the pool of people for comparison is so incredibly huge, almost everyone feels like a loser in the global village.

What do you do when your little goals seem pathetic and worthless in the face of the amazing things others have achieved?

We can start by recognising the insanity of trying to compare ourselves to the absolute best in a population of 7 billion.

The media is tricking you. You are not competing against the people you see on media. There is plenty of room for everyone to be be successful in their own right.

Everyone has their own unique set of circumstances, flaws and talents. So unique are these personal attributes, that comparison with others in our modern world is illogical. The only person it makes sense to compare yourself is you.

You, yesterday.

The global village will encourage a sense of inadequacy to rise up in your gut.

You’re progressing slower than you should be. You weren’t born with the right talents. You’re too old to achieve anything. You’re flawed in this way. And in that way. And it’s hopeless. It’s a waste of time. It’s too late.

But if your internal critic makes you doubt the value of your endeavours - then perhaps you should stop listening.

Maybe it’s chatter, not wisdom.

You think: Whats the point. There will always be people better than me.

But talking yourself into irrelevance is not a profound understanding of reality. It’s a cheap trick of the rational mind.

Of course your endeavours are important. Of course they’re worthwhile.

“In a million years, who’s going to know the difference? The proper response to that statement is not, Well, then, everything is meaningless. It’s: Any idiot can choose a frame of time within which nothing matters.” - Jordan Peterson

In the first place, the very act of perusing your goals will make you happy. Which will in turn make your friends and family happy. Which will proceed to make the people in their lives happy.

For that reason alone, pursuing your endeavours is truly important. Let alone the effect you can have on the world if you pursue your goals all the way to the end.

And on the positive side, you have access to amazing role modals who can inspire you. But be wary that they may have a marketing team hiding all of their flaws. Your role models are flawed human beings just like everybody else. Nobody is cut from a different cloth.

Everybody is running around distracted. Obsessively comparing themselves to others. Stalking successful people on social media. Getting jealous. Getting depressed. Having unrealistic delusions. Spending more time on media than on their goals.

You need to ignore the nonsense and focus on simply making realistic goals and achieving them. One step at a time.

An open mind isn’t always a good thing. You need to close your mind to the noise of the global village. And do your work.