California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Reshaping the American dream

    Children playing in a front yard enclosed with a white-picket fence located in the middle of the suburbs is what many picture as the American dream. Well, used to picture at least.

    With the advancements in technology, many are ditching the idea of settling down right away in a suburb as an array of possibilities are accessible with the touch of a button.

    YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are common stages for people to display their talents in hopes of generating a following. The more followers a person has, the more likely theyโ€™ll be noticed and will become the next YouTube or Vine sensation.

    It seems the simple dream of creating a family in a modest home is being traded-in for a life of fame, with social media being a driving force.

    โ€œI met with a casting agent โ€ฆ and he said that people are really looking for YouTube videos of yourself or Instagrams of you being on set or being in the studio,โ€ Madison Marie Kohn, sophomore and aspiring actress, said.

    Celia Feramisco, adjunct professor in the communication department said that in todayโ€™s world everyone is becoming their own publicist.

    โ€œIf you want to become a published author, you already have to have your following, thatโ€™s a full-time job on top of a full-time job. Itโ€™s extremely overwhelming,โ€ Feramisco said.

    We are at a point where you can no longer just publish a great novel. You have to already be famous. It helps make it easier for publishers to decide your marketability.

    James Truslow Adams in 1931 wrote in his book, โ€œThe Epic of Americaโ€ that the American dream is โ€œthat dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.โ€

    What about the authors that have written great stories, but donโ€™t have the followers? Not everyone is fantastic at creating buzz for their social media profiles, and not everyone takes pictures of everything they do. Are we losing great thinkers to this idea of fame?

    The American dream may have always differed from person to person but the commonality of all those dreams was the seemingly accessible goals of each one.

    For those who do not see the significance of the potential loss of an obtainable American dream are forgetting that the simple idea of freedom and a better life is what lead a lot of immigrants to America in the first place.

    Obviously social media isnโ€™t the only factor to the demise of the traditional dream. Other contributing factors include the economy and the mindset of the people.

    However since the millennial generation and the post millenial generation are so attached to technology, it makes these social media sites a front-runner for the change in values.ย 

    โ€œSocial media is such a big thing,โ€ Kohn said. โ€œYou can literally be in your bedroom and make thousands of dollars for saying โ€˜this necklace is cool, you should buy it.โ€™โ€

    For some that appeal is what draws them into the world of social media.

    โ€œThose are all people who were just regular kids who uploaded videos and suddenly they got these massive followings and thatโ€™s who people are starting to idolize,โ€ Feramisco said.

    In the world of social media stars Nash Grier, Shawn Mendes and Tori Kelly, many are creating personas at the chance of being famous. Theyโ€™re showing their talents any kind of talent in hopes the right person will see and millions will know their name.

    Unfortunately not everyone will reach the same level of stardom as their favorite celebrities. People need to remember no matter how great a plan looks there should be a backup plan for if or when the first one falls through.

    โ€œEveryone is so impulsive and living in the here and now โ€ฆ no one thinks they want the white picket fence but the day is going to come,โ€ Feramisco said.

    Sarah Hernandez
    Staff Writer
    Published November 18th, 2015