The Obsession for Notoriety in the Modern Era

by Orlando B. Gonzalez

Verse: John 12:43 (NASB 2020)- “...for they loved the approval of people rather than the approval of God.”


  1. As a young man, it’s unsurprising to say that I carry many great desires that I want to do in my lifetime. 
    1. My current main goals include becoming a professional writer, a godly husband, pursuing an enjoyable and profitable career, obtaining a nice house for me and my future wife, developing a good sum of money to prepare for potential emergencies, and most of all, being a good and faithful servant to the Lord. 
    2. In my humble opinion, these goals are arguably fairly simple and straightforward. You might even say that some are pretty “ordinary”, “standard”, and “expected”. 
    3. Even with those descriptions, I still remain pretty content with what I have in mind. They’re not bombastic or exciting, nor will they guarantee me fame, wealth, and status in society. They are things that are within my capabilities to achieve, and I would love to in the future.
    4. However, there always come some downtimes in my life. Whenever I am not working on these goals, I try to keep myself busy by doing at least the usual mundane chores that every independent person has to deal with while living out on their own. 
      1. Alongside that, I go help people with their various needs and participate in various good activities, and I also like to take opportunities to spend more time with my fellow brethren.
    5. Yet, many would still see me as living a fairly unremarkable life. You could say that if I were to die today, the world would not even notice that I was dead. For all their concern, I was just another cog in the system and I just unfortunately bit the dust at a young age.
      1. In my opinion, I’m quite okay with that idea. After all, I would still have heaven to look forward to. Some people, however, aren’t okay with that.
  2. Now, naturally, over time, the more good things you do, the more you’ll become noticed by people, which will then lead to you meeting more people, thus the more connections you’ll form, and eventually the more successful, blessed, and well regarded you become.
    1. Hopefully for you, this will be a journey that will be about setting a good and honest reputation (Proverbs 22:29). But, the frustrating part is that many folks don’t follow this basic idea.
    2. Let me ask this question: What happens when a person becomes so self-centered and unsatisfied with life that they see being “ordinary” as an insult to their own perception of their self-worth? Even though they are already born in a life of luxury and pleasure, have already done numerous exciting things, have lots of friends and acquaintances, and they could virtually live the rest of their lives without having to work much?
    3. Well, you end up getting someone who will still want to go far and beyond to make sure all eyes are on him. Someone like Logan Paul.
  3. Logan Paul 
    1. As a 28-year-old social media personality, Logan is an extremely popular influencer on YouTube with a massive fanbase, and he's also one of the highest-paid creators on the platform.
    2. Logan is mainly known for his content which consists of vlogs documenting his daily life and activities. 
    3. A quick look at his video library will show you some crazy, foolish, and even inappropriate behavior. 
      1. Based on his content, Logan comes off as nothing more than a shallow attention seeker with heavy narcissistic personality traits, who just happens to have lots of wealth and connections behind him to help him keep doing what he’s doing.
    4. Because of this, this man has already been infamous in the YouTube community, but what he did in December 2017 would end up shocking the entire world.
    5. One day, he uploaded a vlog where he and his friends decided to travel to a forest located in Japan to camp the night there. 
    6. Unbeknownst to all of them, they would unfortunately encounter a deceased man who had just hanged himself from a tree. His body was just about 100 yards away from the parking lot. 
      1. The video had the man’s face censored, but the rest of his body could still be clearly seen.
    7. At first, Logan and his crew reacted in extreme shock, but it didn’t take long for them to start making jokes with smiles being visibly present and laughter being heard.
    8. Eventually, the group did call the authorities to deal with the body, but Logan made a personal statement at the end of the video where he explained what happened after this and went on to encourage individuals to seek mental help. However, sad piano music was playing in the background while he was talking.
      1. Suffice it to say, this video instantly exploded in popularity, and unsurprisingly, it was met with an immense amount of backlash.
    9. The poor censoring of the body, the reaction by him and his friends, and the way the entire video was framed and edited led to millions of people criticizing Logan and his friends and demanding his entire channel be taken down.
      1. Unfortunately, Logan’s channel was never suspended or deleted. 
      2. What’s worse is that Logan had the audacity to keep this video up for over a day, which garnered him over 6 million views before the video was taken down seemingly because the amount of hate was proving to be too much for him to handle. 
      3. Logan then followed up with an apology video in which he addressed the mistakes he made on that day, stating that he made a "severe and continuous lapse in judgment" and described his behavior as a "coping mechanism". He also asked his fans to stop defending his actions in the process. 
      4. This apology video garnered over 62 million views. 
      5. While the now-deleted vlog wasn’t monetized according to Logan, the apology video appeared to be. If it was, then he may have gotten anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 in revenue from it. There has been significant speculation and suspicions surrounding this, but Logan has not denied or confirmed if he profited from it.
      6. As a result, this incident is generally regarded as the most infamous event in YouTube history.
    10. There’s a lot more that can be said about this event, but I just want to show you just how far people are willing to go to make a name for themselves and maintain it. 
      1. A solemn fact of this world is that because many people are told that the only real way to make a fulfilling life is to “make a name for yourself”, they take this as saying that this is a “dog-eat-dog” world and they got to keep pushing the boundaries to obtain more wealth, pleasure, and glory, even at the cost of harming others. All they could think about is: “When is my next big score?” 
      2. This mentality will gradually decay their moral compass and other critical characteristics that make us human, like empathy, respect, honor, dignity, humbleness, and love for ourselves, for others, and most importantly, for God. 
      3. A person who is never taught or bothers to care for and sympathize with their fellow man is doomed to not know the importance of being a good example for others. Far too many people do this and they never end up being able to properly handle the fame, power, and influence they have on others. This is why we as Christians must be the much-needed salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).
      4. I want to also make it known that everyone involved had, at the very least, several hours to go back to their hotels, review the footage, edit it, talk about it, and then make the final decision to upload it on YouTube. But instead, they decided to make a spectacle of this poor man so that they could gain a temporary boost in popularity.
      5. It is clear as day that these people cared more about the shock value and the massive attention that this would garner them than showing any respect for the victim by not uploading any piece of that footage.
      6. At least it can be said that they didn’t come out of this unscathed.
  4. So, what can we take away from this? Let’s look at a few verses: 


Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves;” When you have an excessive sense of importance in one's self and only care about yourself, you are bound to cause some trouble. Instead of doing this, form humility in your heart and remind yourself that you are just like other people and you must help them when they need it.


Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 talks about how eventually even the notable will age and the young will take over. Fame is not permanent. Eventually, people like Logan Paul will fall by the wayside of “importance” and a new generation will take root. 


1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 talks about leading a quiet and proper life and not relying on outsiders of the church. In this case, don’t try to make yourself famous just to satisfy your ego.


Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.” This ties back to the beginning where I talked about what could result from you having such a basic lifestyle, but still carrying a high reputation. When you live that kind of life, there isn’t much you may have to worry about that will cause you to get distracted and fall into sin. Your mind is rooted on the ground of what really matters, and being poor while having a great standing with others is much better than being wealthy while having a notorious reputation.


Proverbs 22:4: “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life.” And eventually, whether in this life or the next, your efforts for doing good will be remembered by God and you will be rewarded in the end. 

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