Sparked by Words

Selfie Mode

Everyone has the ability to be their own reality show. The pose, the clothes. A smirk, a flirt. Hands on hips, pooched lips. Not attached to the shadows in the corners or the nerves on the floor. Always in the limelight, shiny, sparkling, ready for the camera.

This is the big problem with the selfie generation – a flashy blip on a screen but no touching. A kiss blown in the air but no shoulder to lean on. A false sense of creativity but no genuine imagination.

Put down your phone and make real life contact with another person. That takes time but no need for makeup, effort but no public stance, sharing without showing off, listening as well as talking, and a sense for what is real and therefore really important.

Quick, before you lose yourself to the changeling in the glass and slip in the rue beneath your feet.

 

Just a Thought 40

 

Echo and Narcissus, 1903, John William Waterhouse

 

 

 

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Comments on: "Selfie Mode" (36)

  1. It’s no wonder rates of depression and anxiety have increased over the past decade. Much of it relates to too much time spent on the screen and not enough time making connections in the real world and living life, not to mention spending time in nature, which is a big endorphin releaser.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Carrie. Also not enough time doing things that expose them to new adventures. People go to the gym but don’t get out and explore the unknown. And all those unreal reality shows where most of them are scripted and the contenders are professional competitors – they give a false sense of achievement to viewers. Especially dangerous to teenagers because they aren’t able to discern how phony it all is. But I suspect it’s more complicated than that and more clinical than I’m qualified to comment about.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, Sharon, and what’s more is that the jury is still out on all this. We have yet to fully understand the ramifications of our dependency on social media, yet we suspect there’s a flip-side to its technological conveniences. You and I weren’t raised with this, but those coming up now know little else. It’s baffling for us, but for the young-un’s now, it’s all they know! But we’re receiving hints and clues, and the irony is social media seems to have ushered in isolation and alienation!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I find the isolation and alienation are definitely tragic consequences of being glued to a device. Kindergarten teachers (I know several) have told me that the most recent K kids are impatient, can’t self satisfy, do not understand taking turns or group dynamics, are unreasonable and throw temper tantrums, and demand immediate gratification for everything. Their parents stand behind them because that’s how they’ve raised these children. These characteristics used to be seen most often in children who had never attended pre-school but went immediately into K. Now, it’s nearly the entire generation, even if they have been to pre-school. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Claire.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. EXACTLY! I’ve shared it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. not to mention how selfies are often retouched…

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    • So here’s a little secret for you – I don’t have – nor do I want – a smart phone, and have never taken a selfie. And did not know they could be retouched. Just an old-fashioned girl here. Thanks for a new bit of info, Daal.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LOLOL — you sound like me if my husband didn’t insist I have one, Sharon – I first got an iPhone a couple of years ago, only because I found it to be a good value as a substitute for my broken digital camera — you can imagine how I drove friends nuts when, for the 1st few months, I only used it as a camera… ❤

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      • Funny story, Daal. I only agreed to a cell phone, a cheap track phone, when all the public pay phones were removed. We all need one now to protect ourselves in case of emergency. Still, I don’t need to photograph those episodes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Shari! I have a smartphone but only because my computer broke down 2 years ago and I needed something that would allow internet access for work and wouldn’t be as expensive as a new laptop (for which I had to save about a year). And I’m quite proud to announce that I never use it for selfies – I honestly loath them. It’s all so false and really I’ve never seen one single selfie that looked good on social media.

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    • I only agreed to a cell phone about 10 years ago when I was in St. Louis and had no way to call my husband to tell him I was doing well because there were no more pay phones. So I got dragged into the digital age when he presented me with a cell phone.

      You’re not the only person I know who uses a cell phone in lieu of a computer, BTW. Lots of people find them very versatile.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the lack of public pay phones was what drove me to buy my first cell phone too. I was headed for an archaeological excavation in the southwest of Germany, a really small town with only one pay phone. After a hard day’s work I was too tired to stand there and so bought a cell next weekend in a bigger nearby town. Et voilà – I could phone my mum from my bed&breakfast lying in bed! 😄

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      • Fun story, Sarah. I bet your mom was happy to hear from you. It’s pretty much impossible to live without a cell phone today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • She was, as was I 😊
        I often do a cell and internet free day or two – it’s wonderful really but my friends and colleagues always shake their head when they hear about it! 😁 I think it’s important to be in control of your cell and not the other way around.

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      • I work often on my computer as all my writing is done on it. But I enjoy not driving every day. A day I can work at home (writing, painting) without rushing off is wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Our pastor mentioned that this is the first generation of Americans to live in a post-God society so is it any wonder that the young are depressed and make gods of themselves and gadgets? Society in the form of parents and teachers offers them nothing else–and isn’t it easier to have the gadgets entertain (and love) our children so we can follow our own desires? Finding our inner child may not have been such a good thing.

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    • That depends on whether you think the inner child is a selfish, lazy brute or a curious and questioning adventurer. And if that inner child grows up to accept responsibility while maintaining an mind open to learning about the rest of the world.

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      • True again! Yet I think each generation is faced with particular challenges that only they can really understand or grapple with. I don’t have any interest in selfies but becoming a grown-up is hard for us all. 🙂

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      • Yes, and yet so many injustices 100 or 200 or 1000 years old still plague society today. It’s easier to bury our heads in our smart phones than rolling up our sleeves and working toward building a just world.

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      • I wonder what percentage of people have the time or inclination to try to save the world. Sadly even the ones who do are flawed and often blind to their own limited vision. We can’t even agree on what is unjust as humans. I think of something St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians:
        “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Doing even small things can make a huge difference to other people. Doing nothing is not an option, at least not for me.

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      • In that sense you’re definitely right. Love considering these things with you. Have a great day!

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      • You too, Adrienne.

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  6. “A false sense of creativity but no genuine imagination” — well said..!

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    • I attended a rally and march on Saturday, June 30, in protest of trump separating children from their parents who are seeking asylum in the United States. We were nearly 5000 strong in one of the 600 or so events throughout the U.S. What struck me was how very few 18 – 30 year olds were present at the protest. The great majority of the attendees were in our 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. (I’m 69.)

      I actively protested the Vietnam War for about 5 years while I was in college. Of the dozens (hundreds?) of events I attended, we young people were in the majority of those present. I was 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 years old and so were most of us. I also took off a semester of collage classes, something I could ill afford to do, to campaign in favor of the 26th amendment to the American Constitution. This is the one that lowered the voting age to 18. I believed that if American boys could be drafted at the ages of 18, 19, and 20 to be forced to serve in Vietnam, they should be able to vote at 18.

      I get a bit weary of the self righteousness of the millennial generation who believe they are entitled to spout off about situations they take little time to investigate and therefore don’t really understand.

      My family and I went out for dinner yesterday and the cashier, probably 19 and clearly stoned, repeatedly tossed our food around, getting each package’s ingredients mixed up. My son asked the cashier 3 times to please stop tossing the food around. By now, he’d toppled over all the packages and we were all pretty furious. One nearly fell on the floor. My son grabbed the food packages away from the cashier and he and I both starting yelling at the guy.

      I don’t know why it took so long for someone else at the restaurant to finally intervene. We paid over $60, and went to sit on the patio to eat. About 10 minutes in, some young girl came out to tell us she didn’t think we’d been very nice to the cashier. Clearly she had no idea what had actually happened and rather than courteously asking if we would share our side, she simply lit in with her personal attack on us. We told her to go away.

      I have no doubt she tweeted about what awful people we were. But I wonder what she did on Saturday, if she attended a protest rally. I wonder if she’s registered to vote and if she’s ever gotten off her keister to do so. I wonder what she plans to do when she turns 21, if she intends to celebrate a drunken weekend in Las Vegas or at the beach or on a cruise. My husband’s 21st birthday was spent on a Navy ship on its way to Vietnam. He helped the dozens of seasick young men around him. (We met after his return stateside.) I wonder if she’s ever actually worked on behalf of someone else whose rights have been abrogated by people in power and people with money.

      Each generation must labor for itself to maintain the rights and privileges of democracy. I see far too many millennials posting selfies and doing almost nothing to protect liberty. When they have their own kids one day, I hope they remember how little they did when the stakes were so high. They better not blame my generation – we gave.

      Thank you for your comment, Snow.

      Liked by 3 people

      • The mere fact that someone as ill-fit to the job as Trump was able to become President goes to show that something is seriously wrong.
        I’m 40 and I consider myself young (age is an attitude, after all…) but I do see a tremendous gap between myself and millennials. Decades of work experience and a master’s degree don’t amount to much professionally anymore, since it seems to be more important to have a popular social media account than to actually have achieved anything. The world has become absurd.
        No doubt she tweeted about you, maybe even with a photo. I’m not too happy about the way “street photography” and casual snaps of strangers are nonchalantly posted online these days, but I’m in the minority with this opinion…

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      • I appreciate your perspective. Thanks for reading my long comment to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What a thought Sharon. I seldom take selfies but I had never thought of the selfie as a sad reminder of how alone some of us are. I second your call to spend the time and meet some people to give that arm around the shoulder.

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      • I love photographs of family and friends, of places we travel and special events. But selfies are meant to promote the idea that one person is the center of the world. Everyone puts on a face (lips pooched in a kiss) and poses (hand on hip, elbow back) but you get the feeling it’s a Red Carpet moment. They’re strutting for the camera and in ten seconds, the whole group will be involved in the game-tweet-text on their own phone. The socializing world has become one of showing off how popular one is, rather than building relationships.

        Liked by 1 person

      • and for those that aren’t popular they feel it keenly.

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      • Probably true. That sense of isolation is what causes some people to lash out violently at strangers, and the rest of us to wonder what’s wrong with the world. There’s a study here, and a book or three.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Most problems can be overcome when people feel as though they are included and matter. You would think it would be a simple thing to do but it obviously isn’t.

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      • You’re right, Irene, but I think people need to make an effort. They need to find something worthy to devote their lives to. That means getting outside the me me bubble and into the world and make a difference.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes if no-one did anything then what a sorry state we’d be in.

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