Discovering the Inner World of Selfies


There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men.
True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.

~Ernest Hemingway~

In case you haven’t heard somehow, selfies are pictures you take of yourself and post on email or social media. With a selfie, you can document whatever you are doing and who you are doing it with. You can think about it later. Your friends can also see what you are doing.

If you ask someone who just took a selfie why they did it, do you think you would get a coherent answer? Most people just don’t know why or might not have thought about it. Aha! Maybe people are too busy to stop and think. I have heard one theory that people take selfies to prove they exist. Maybe it’s also a way to prove you are important. You could be trying to convince yourself of your own importance.

There was a time when people spent most of their leisure time relaxing with families and friends often without much going on. It was just fun to be with them. While it’s fun to accomplish things, you don’t have to do it all the time. Sometimes it’s just as nice to just be. Life often becomes a blur these days as you rush from one activity to another A selfie gives you a chance to bring your life into sharp focus if only for a second. But then you scurry on to the next event. Maybe you will stop there for another selfie to add to your posts.

In the past, television portrayed people in dramas or comedies we all understood to be fictional. They were stories to entertain us or teach us something. In the past few years, “reality” shows have taken over. Although it’s hard to know how much is real and how much is fantasy, the characters are real people playing themselves. I wonder if selfies could be our instant attempts to portray ourselves doing something to make us somehow seem more real. There is an old saying that art imitates life. I think we have reached the point where life imitates art or what passes for art.

I also wonder whether our fast pace of life and loss of touch with who we are accounts for the constant stress which dogs all of us these days. We seldom seem to reflect on what we are doing. We are too busy checking off all the things we have planned each day.

Have you heard of mindfulness? It means being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it and not judging yourself or anyone else. That’s just the opposite of how most people live their lives these days. Are you ready to try life in a lower gear?

Life Lab Lessons 

  • Leave your camera and cell phone home.
  • Take friends with you if you can.
  • Spend time somewhere peaceful by yourself or with friends.
  • Make no judgments about yourself.
  • Make no judgments about anyone else.


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