This part of the question preamble really jumped out at me:
Many people are more concerned with their social status than they are with their real life to the point that it is just absurd.
I started asking myself: what is the boundary between "real life" and "social status"? Unless a person is a hermit and living as a hunter-gatherer in a remote area where no other people go, he'll have to interact with others at some point. Obviously, there are parts of life that neither affect nor are affected by social status, parts that are completely private. But many different areas of life can be influenced by what others think - for example, your job or business, your friendships and romantic relationships, your family life, your hobbies, your personal health.
Here's a thought experiment.
First, suppose that everyone in the world knew you and thought well of you, as though you were a well-loved, close, family member. (Assume that you're not famous, just that you are somehow a trusted, loved friend of every person in the entire world.) What would be the result of this?
Well, for one thing, you would need no money or occupation. Any time you needed anything, people would be willing to help you - give you food and a place to stay, lend you a car, whatever you need. You could ask anyone to help and they would. (Of course, you wouldn't need to be a burden on any one person or family in particular, as you could move around to different places at any time.)
It would probably also feel nice to know that so many people thought well of you and wanted to help you.
Next, consider the absolute opposite. Suppose that everyone in the world dislikes you and doesn't want to interact with you. The girl behind the counter at the coffee shop won't sell you coffee, even if you promise a $10 tip. You can't run a business or have a job because that would involve interacting with others and no one wants to spend time with you. You might get bored from having no one to talk to - either online or in the real world.
The point is, some level of social status is necessary to function in a human society. In the thought experiment, if everyone loved you, life would move toward one state; if everyone disdained you, life would move to quite a different state. And most people prefer to work toward the former state and avoid the latter, because the former is more pleasurable for them.
The truth behind this, is Gossip starts like a wildfire. You get 1 person who thinks something of you, and all of a sudden half the world is told that about you. We fear not being accepted by anyone, and it always just starts with 1.
Its human nature, as simple as that. We want to be perceived as a certain image we have of ourselves in our head, and when someone goes against that grain it hurts the ego. Probably one of man-kinds ugliest traits.
The mindset of depending on other people’s perceptions to properly shape one’s own self-worth and overall reality is seemingly very common, honestly I would argue that it drives our society as a whole. To be honest, capitalism functions so well simply because it exploits the fact that a majority of people struggle to find meaning and self worth, so it results in them filling the void with materialistic items. It’s kind of sad.
The sweet illusion of grandeur ultimately replaces the fear of meaninglessness.
So, I guess: I cannot find meaning alone, so I will instead use the perceptions of others as a substitute.
Its one of those things your mind plays games just like people play to others. honestly i follow the pact that if something needs saying say it. Dont go around hoping they wont do it again because 90% of the time they will.
Your life story post above basically was the script for that episode. Literally reading it made me think of the Black Mirror Episode haha.
OT: Black Mirror Episode NoseDive is seriously worth watching, the rate technology is going an app like the one in the episode could soon be out.