So I’m calling it! Narcissism is at an all time high and you know things aren’t quite right when the Fin Review has a pic of Kim Kardashian to accompany a story. I’m no fan of Kim but then I’m probably not her target market either. She’s also on this month’s front cover of Vogue. Womans Day maybe but Vogue???? Edwina Mc Kann (Vogue Editor in Chief) does go on to explain the whole “brand Kim” thing but I can’t be convinced and I don’t get the appeal.
The Oxford English Dictionary voted selfie as the “word of the year” for 2013. The whole selfie thing is not that big of a deal. I love taking photos of my friends and so I’ve been in many a group selfie. No selfie stick for me though. But getting back to the article in the Fin Review and here’s where my head starts to hurt.
MM brought the article to my attention last week. It referenced a particular company that is poised to list on the stock exchange. The business? A mobile phone app company that provides answers to questions such as “Does my bum look big in this?” Yep, you read that right. In 2014, 3.4 million messages (questions) were transmitted and this generated a turnover of nearly $10million. Nevermind there are companies doing the hard yards to pay their bills and keep their staff, there are other companies earning money from someone’s daughter sending a test message asking what other’s think of the size of her bottom. Stop the world I want to get off.
MM questioned how these internet giants sleep at night knowing this is how they make their money. Legal? Probably. Ethical and morally right? Well that’s more subjective.
Clearly we are living in the modern world of narcissism or is this just digital narcissism. I think the latter is more tolerable and seemingly more acceptable. Remember when being a “show off” was a bad thing? Well now it’s celebrated. Shameless vanity or harmless fun? Of course not every social media user is a narcissist and if that was the case then I’d be in big trouble as I type this on my own personal blog that has connections to twitter, facebook and instagram. Maybe it’s just that if you are already a narcissist then social media is the drug that feeds you. I guess it’s when the obsession with your digital self love extends over into real life where things get might get a bit fuzzy. You might know someone (or be that someone) who will happily post a belfie (please let that word die quickly) but at the same time be a kind, caring, loving and empathetic person – hardly narcissistic qualities. I think the problem is when this kind of behaviour creates unrealistic expectations and I’m very guilty of this. I don’t really follow any “celebs” on instagram (unless you count Zoe Foster as one?) but I know it’s hard to look at someone else’s photo montage and think they’ve got it all sorted because they have a beautiful home and swishy hair and that’s without the filter. (I’m in jealous awe of mum’s at the park who have swishy hair!). So if there’s a generation of us constantly seeking approval and gratification online does that mean we are also seeking it in real life? Being humble is a precious trait and in my opinion one of the most important. So whilst there is nothing wrong with self promotion (hello she who writes a blog) as long as we (meaning, I) don’t lose sight of what’s important because we are too busy taking 53 selfies to get the perfect one shot. There is no perfect.