Exaggeration of “goals” in media
The most classic case of the â€śgoalsâ€ť infestation is when one of my friends posts a selfie on social media. On the receiving end, â€śgoalsâ€ť is definitely flattering. Itâ€™s not every day that a person labels your accomplishment as â€śsomething that [one is] trying to do or achieve,â€ť according to Merriam-Webster. In fact, itâ€™s encouraging, rather than demeaning, when you find out someone envisions you as an ideal, or even perfect, role model.
Nowadays, itâ€™s not difficult to see that the whole feed is flooded with â€śgoalsâ€ť when scrolling over the thirty to forty comments. And it isnâ€™t just limited to selfies. There are â€śsquad goalsâ€ť for the tight-knit friendships, â€śfitness goalsâ€ť for the hardworking athletes and â€śrelationship goalsâ€ť for those couples that everyone adores.
However, while labeling others as â€śgoalsâ€ť seems to be nothing but a harmless compliment, how often do we examine the actual meaning behind our comment? Adding an extra exclamation point or typing the word in capitalized letters may vaguely depict the extent to which our hearts throb for cute couple pictures, but do we actually mean it when we say â€śgoalsâ€ť?
We live in an age in which we value the attention we receive on social media, regardless of whether it has any substantial meaning. On top of that, we also give our attention to others generously, sometimes to the point of obsession. Normally, youâ€™ll find the same people who make these comments make the same or similar comments on pretty much everything of the same caliber.
The overuse of the word â€śgoalsâ€ť has undergone a complete transformation from a once highly regarded definition to a less meaningful obligation since its use has become popular. In most cases, we arenâ€™t as driven to praise friends for something outstanding they mastered as we used to be. Usually, we are driven to call others â€śgoalsâ€ť not only to satisfy their quota for praise, but also to remind them that we notice and recognize them for more than just a â€ślikeâ€ť in hopes that they will, in turn, give us back the same praise when it comes time to showcase ourselves to the social media realm.
Donâ€™t get me wrong. There are plenty of achievements that definitely deserve all the praise. But should we consider the selfies as goals? When put into perspective, itâ€™s difficult for me to see how someone elseâ€™s physical identity can be classified as something you are trying to attain for yourself. In fact, attaining anotherâ€™s identity is rather impossible.
And even if what someone considers â€śgoalsâ€ť is attainable, are you actually trying to chase that desire to be what an actor, a singer or a fitness guru embodies? If your answer was no, you might be falling into the norm of idolizing someoneâ€™s success despite not wanting or needing to actually achieve that for yourself. Additionally, are we being shallow by characterizing something as â€śgoalsâ€ť based on one post or one photo?
These are hard questions to answer because we generally want to put ourselves in the positive light, but itâ€™s not necessarily our fault that the interaction between people has hit this point. Rather than blaming ourselves for simply adapting to changing times, we should realize that the real fault is in the unintentional and inevitable shift in the way we communicate with others. Since the beginning of media, personal meaningful connections and conversations have been swapped for short, convenient phrases or words that get almost the same message across. So maybe calling something â€śgoalsâ€ť is the new way of expressing those old ideas. However, it just doesnâ€™t feel the same as when we take the time to admire and seek tangible success instead of just acknowledging it in others.
I canâ€™t stop you from using the word â€śgoals,â€ť and in reality, none of this is a big deal. Personally, Iâ€™m not particularly innocent of scrolling through my own posts and feeling satisfied from those one word praises despite having my own opinion on its usage. After all, the reason social media is successful is because people crave feedback on what they put out there for their audiences. But at the end of the day, if people do choose to use â€śgoalsâ€ť to describe their friends, family or even celebrities, all I have to say is: make it count.
By Kevin Arifin, Manager
Photos by Austin Lam, Kevin Arifin, Sam Compolongo