“So let me rephrase, we live at the end of an era characterized by relentless anxiety around the self as a product: what it means, who owns it, what it costs, what it’s worth. The word celebrity suggests that this value can be quantified and, generally, stands as a catch-all term for the collective disorders (disembodied desire, objectified anxiety, schadenfreude as catharsis) underpinning a cult of self.” ~ “Toward a More Radical Selfie,” The Paris Review).
India Ennenga, author of that quote (and the article from which it came) calls this an era of unfolding “digital self-harm” — or as I’d say, selfies with absolutely no connection to one’s actual Self.
That’s bound the lead nowhere good — or at least it hasn’t so far (unless you consider increases in narcissism, depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, etc. worthwhile progress).
Imagine life without the gazillion duck face–fish gape selfies mindlessly slapped everywhere, or those self-respect-mutilating ‘taken in the bathroom mirror’ selfies (often incorporating duck face or fish gape); or the swarms of selfie-ing people around you!
“Living as characters,” writes Ennenga.
“In 2018, the ambivalence toward how to treat one’s digital self, how to create one’s “character,” is a particularly unwieldy knot for women. The collapse of the critical space between one’s personality and one’s online persona erases the distinction between self-expression and self-promotion. Every post now seems to fall into a dangerous trap.”
But maybe, just maybe, something else is whispering itself into being.
(1) Check out the full article — it’s a good read.
It’s a timely reflection, and may well stir up some renewed passion, clarity, and inspiration for another way of being and living.
(2) What comes after the selfie era of shallow celebrity culture and digital self-harm?
A re-worthing — very Uranus in Taurus — and a reconnection with what we’ve yearned for all along?
Featured Image: Art by Vaqume. Original link to Vaqume’s work is no longer active.
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