Да нас всех укусила акула!
(“We were all bitten by a shark!”,
rus., hipster song of the 90’s)
Image is everything! We live in the day and age of pocket-size telephones with amazing digital photographic capabilities — the Eye Phones. One can easily make a high-quality picture of himself in seconds — a selfie. This is how he or she would like to be seen from the outside, while there’s no outside observer. Sly, sly, sly! Like a demon’s eye. The industry is quick to make such a process more enjoyable providing us with everything from selfie sticks to real-time filters. You can even instantly change hair, color of the skin or try on cat’s ears if you like. Fun, isn’t it?
Wait a second: selfie for the sake of cold senseless ones and zeros in the Eye Phone’s memory is plain pointless. But worry not! Have you ever seen the rain? Your friends eyes are just one click away. The Share button. In an instant the pixels on your Eye Phone will turn into your friends mental projections — a set of neuro-zeros and ones in their Eye Minds. Now they see how you’d want to be seen. Or at least you think they do. Thanks, technology! They look at you with your own eyes.
One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock! Let’s not stop here. You don’t want to float in a vacuum. You need some background. Colorful background! Interesting places, cities, castles, waterfalls, rivers, mountains, oceans and everything in between. Hot air balloons. You are still in the center stage and it’s still a selfie. You still look at yourself with the eyes all these people you call online friends. It’s not them, it’s you, your own self.
One more step and you need not be in the picture at all. The pixels, these reflections in your biological eyes and mind, instantly delivered to your others, thanks to Instagram. This is how you think that they see what you see. And this is a selfie too.
Go, Johnny, Go, Go! Why would a selfie alway be pixelated? You give yourself a good look, you dress up (or down — it’s cool too!). You buy yourself a good looking car, watch, gadgets, house, whatever. You surround yourself with good looking people and expensive looking wines. Who all this is for? Who’s the final observer of all this endless show that must go on and on for some unclear reason? It’s still you in the eyes of your colleagues, friends, competitors and even enemies. To say nothing about expensive life partner(s). And it’s still a selfie.
Run, Forrest, Run! The world of material zeroes is not the only one out there. You do things that you do, make steps that you make. You build and shape your carrier. You raise in ranks and popularity. You succeed in this and that. Not yet in this, but it’s ahead, I am sure.
At times you fail, but let’s not bring this to the picture. Who needs to see it — you? Maybe. Maybe not. Clearly not the eyes of those around. Those who see as you see. In other words, your failures are not a good source of selfie material. You hide it like it never happened, unless it gets “published” without your will and you have to deal with it. Then you simply explain how unfair the world was to you. After all, “shit happens”. We know this quite well. What is this that you make? It’s another image of yourself, just from a different angle, from a different point of view. But it’s still a selfie. Mental selfie.
You always see with the eyes (and minds!) of those surrounding you. It’s very likely they do just the same, but they would never confess. And neither would you. We are all polite, civilized and domesticated enough to follow these rules.
Hey, you! Is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me. You finally realize you live in the world of selfies. And as it turns out, you have been for a while. Most if not all of your life, actually. But if a crazy person knows he’s crazy — he’s not that crazy anymore. First step to cure. Or maybe he’s not crazy at all, but doesn’t know that yet.
You stop pretending to be you and delete your Facebook account. At least for a few days, with the likelihood of relapse next Friday. Worry not! There’s no such thing as “delete” in the world of modern technology. It’s just another illusion. You can always go back. Selfie archives are here to stay for as long as there are zeros and ones.
You don’t want to be alone. You instinctively refuse to be the only viewer of your inner selfie, the true image of the self by the self. Our technology, and even ages-old human language do a poor job sharing that. Some say it’s theoretically impossible. Some write poetry, make art, compose music, etc. in hopes of getting there. And some are just making pixels, 5MB at a time, clicking buttons on their Eye Phones. Much cheaper, and less time-consuming.
Someday in the distant future people (or whoever will live then) may come up with a way to make their inner selfies with the click of a button. A snapshot of their minds, thoughts and feelings. You could even share it on the Mindbook with friends (if such word will be relevant) and be certain to have been understood.
Before that, a self-reflecting mind is destined for loneliness …
PS: Join the crowd. Be yourself. Click a button. Selfies are us!