TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: NARCISSISM & SOCIAL MEDIA
Let’s talk about the Narcissus myth and the modern day vernacular (a.k.a. social media). To cut the long story short, in Greek mythology there was a self-centered boy who was so engulfed in the apparent presence of his beauty he decided to stare at his reflection in the water until he died.
Today, Narcissus translates into narcissism, which by definition means a fixation with oneself and one’s physical appearance or public perception. And what is a selfie? A selfie is a fixation with oneself and one’s physical appearance or public perception.
We are all guilty, if we are honest with ourselves.
But the reason I have this lapsarian view is because I didn’t grow up in this epidemic that’s fuelled by likes, likes, likes. I didn’t grow up in an Insta-gratification era infiltrated with socially ascendant self-promoters, public relation gurus and rib-sporting glamazons that promote a murky propaganda of how I should look like.
My adolescent laments were soundtracked by 90s grunge and authenticity. We played outside, we dressed for ourselves and our individuality and imagination flourished.
Of course there is a bright side. Social media can become a well-oiled vehicle for promoting your work (as I have done so with Tallulah Rose) your art (as I have done so with my self-portraits), or even to spread a message that it seems daft to be nostalgic about the days technology did not exist.
But how can millennials understand — or at least, try to understand — that ‘likes’ are not tokens of validation? That beauty is not about this unhealthy façade that propagates retouched images. That it is not about the number of followers you have. That it is not about self-aggrandizement.
It is merely about having the luxury to communicate in a nanosecond.
But slim chance on that catching on. Something has been lost in this world. Woe betide the 2018 teenage girl who indulges in this narcissistic nightmare. █