I think many of us want to be a “face”, in the 1960’s British “Mod” subculture sense of the term. In 1960’s England, a face was a right proper Mod; the right fashion sense, the right scooter, the right taste in music. A face was recognized on sight as such in the Mod subculture. A particularly good Mod was an ace face. Maybe even THE ace face.
That desire for recognition that the faces in the Mod subculture displayed could also be attributed, at least in part, to social class. Many of the seminal Mods were working-class male youth, whose semi-skilled manual labor or low-paying white-collar clerical jobs did not offer much professional prestige. After hours social recognition made up for a lack of professional recognition.
Humans can crave recognition, just like humans can crave sweets or narcotics. The “rush” some get out of recognition comes from the same physiological phenomenon as any addiction, the release of endorphins in the brain. We’re hardwired to repeat these endorphin producing behaviors. It feels good, so we do it.
We can all recognize a modern face. Some are like the mods from the 1960’s, the right clothes, the right car, the right house, the right schools. Some seek their recognition through other means, such as social media status. If your anonymous Twitter account has lots of followers, you’re recognized. I recently came across the social-media marketing term “micro-influencers,” for those social media users who aren’t widely known but who are faces in their limited spheres.
Even if you’re faceless, you can still be a face.