Some of us dispute our reduced importance strenuously, most often choosing to assert our personal significance in a symbolic manner—for example, via ever more massive and formidable-looking pickup trucks, or ever-deadlier personal caches of military-grade firepower.
Others accept the designation of inconsequentiality without protest—often in ways that unwittingly and needlessly amplify it. For example, if we think that we’re not personally significant or interesting, we tend to believe that neither are the people around us. People who adopt this attitude are more likely to:
- Care and know more about the lives of distant celebrities than those of their next-door neighbors.
- Become addicted to professional sports, while remaining cool to the prospect of ever attending a high school or even college game near where they live.
- Flock to concerts in stadiums so enormous that, by comparison, both the concert-goers and the mega-celebrity musicians look like mere ants—yet never see fit to drop in on local musicians’ gigs in environments small enough that the performers can notice (and appreciate) their individual applause.