The Digital Narcissist

Dear buyers,

Here’s wishing you a belated Happy Easter! I hope the merrymakings have treated you kindly and have shown generosity with an abundance of chocolate bunnies and easter eggs for your devouring.

Now leaving the festivities aside, this Easter weekend has brought upon me a revelation. No, I’m not referring to the kind where Jesus resurrects from the dead sort of revelation but rather a more first world problem sort – the selfie phenomenon. I know you must be thinking that it’s a stretch to draw a connection between the (commercialized) religious celebration and the ‘selfie’ but bear with me, as I have a simple explanation as to how I arrived at that thought.

Easter Sunday started out like this. With an itinerary of attending church service, followed by a family brunch at this pretty fancy Chinese restaurant, my sister was more than invested in the act of self-beautification. And since these meticulous, feminine things of dressing and making up are rare, especially in this excruciatingly hot and humid weather (where makeup melts right off your face), it is almost instinctive of her to want to commemorate such an occasion. Cue the selfies!

The age of digital narcissism has befallen us. The signs are undeniably clear when even Obama succumbs to such millenial practices (he went as far as to wink). This peacocking behavior that ordinarily in societal norms would, if not should be considered vain, self-absorbed and egotistical is suddenly given a rightful place within social media, and even more incredulous, is celebrated of. The embrace of this culture is borderline pervasive in my opinion, going as far as to sustain the existence of some celebrities such as Kim Kardashian. In all honesty, other than living her life under public scrutiny while looking good, I’m not too sure what she does for a living (note the sarcasm).

Well enough about her. From the perspective of a media user, digital narcissism has certainly redefined the roles of consumers. Courtesy of social media, consumers have now become the producers as well as the commodity both at once. To paint this picture, my sister takes a photo of herself (producer producing the commodity, that of the producer) then posts it on Snapchat or Instagram (commodity consumed or for consumption). Sigh, how times have changed the simple and well meaning maneuver of taking photos. Or at least, have changed its connotation.

Meanwhile, I like to think of myself as less narcissistic when I’ve so generously shared this frame with 11 other people. The way I see it, 12 smiling faces are always better than one.

Finishing up post,

Regret not choosing a more flattering filter.