SELFIE

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love at all  is to be vulnerable.” C. S. Lewis.

Love……. an enigma, a peculiar emotion, but we cannot live without it. Love matters, and if you go to the core of human existence  it is what we are perpetually searching for. It fills us with joy, makes us smile, gives us hope, wrings us up, spits us out, hurt like hell, and still we traverse its slopes without reserve and thought. Is it any wonder then that we have seen a a shift in emphasis to ‘loving myself’, ‘loving all these girls’, ‘loving me’……………. the selfie.  According to the authors of ‘The Narcissism Epidemic’ narcissistic personality disorder has more than doubled over the past 10 years in the USA.  Jeremiah long ago contended that the heart is treacherous.

The Millennials, those fortunate or unfortunate enough to be born in the knowledge era, are of a different ilk.  They are more tolerant of the extremes, they explore, are extremely radical and liberal, grossly impatient, lack inhibitions, selfish to the nnnnth power, and very adventurous. Homosexuality, oral sex, ‘sex-capades’, bungee jumping, space exploring, cyber bullying, cyber sex, and cyber just-about-everything are commonplace and ‘cool’. Makes me wonder if this an offshoot and or unintended consequence of Capitalism, and whether these Generation “Y’ers are the engineers behind Data Analytics, Facebook, Whats App, Google, Instagram, and Twitter et al. Did social media and the Internet create Generation ME, or is it the other way around?  Have we gone too far? Is there still further to go?

In this culture of exceptionalism we have seen a frightening level of disregard for others (the demise of the Golden Rule), a total belief in individual supremacy- with a penchant for the ‘Right’ to do this and ‘Right’ to do that and ‘Right’ to do just about whatever you please.  Never has there been a time before now, when rights are posited as such – never mind the fact that you live under my roof and are a minor! Never mind the fact that rights are umbilically connected to responsibilities.  Never mind the fact we are told ‘No man is an island’. Can anyone help me with any of this?

Is the gradual dependence on self, due to disillusionment or fear?

Has every generation been the same in one way or another?

Are you an anachronism if you are out with friends, on the bus/train, or simply walking and you are not plugged in? Are boundaries, etiquette and good manners old fashioned words?

Why do we need selfie sticks and selfie cameras- is it because we are selfish or self-centered or none of these?

What’s the threshold or protocol for posts, likes, comments, or following on social media? How far will we go to get same, and what happens when we don’t get ‘enough’ or the right ones? How many pics do you take before you get the perfect ‘postable’ one?

Why do we film or photograph our sexual encounters? Is it that our ‘smart’ phones are powerful enough to manipulate/outsmart us?

Is this why hair extensions, make-up application, manicures, pedicures, cosmetic surgeries, and facials important priorities?

Is greater exposure doing more or less for our self-concept and self-esteem?

Are we more or less grateful, humble, reflective, peaceful, contented, empathetic or happy?

Are the increasing rates of depression, suicide, crimes of passion and abuse linked to this phenomenon in any way?

Are we living in an upside-down, inside-out world?

Do you follow the herd or find your niche?

I would like to think that C.S. Lewis’s theme can help us bob and weave through this space, Worse case scenarios – get your heart broken or avoid all entanglements? You decide.

C.S. Lewis, possibly a prophet for our times.

 

 

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