Sideswipes: We're At A Weird Moment In Narcissism

Creating the perfect moment for a photo isn't as easy as it used to be, thanks to the recent ban on selfie sticks in museums. It was a weird week for narcissism in general. Our culture hasn't quite decided how or when it's appropriate to self aggrandize.

Case in point -- we saw the Met say no to #nofilter shots next to #dancemask, yet we watched #thepresidentusesaselfiestick to promote health care enrollment.

The selfie has created a sideswipe between ego -- a philosophical and psychological concept -- and audience, a creation invented by media. Our society has yet to figure out what to do with that collision. At the philosophical and psychological levels we see people placing enormous attention placed on self-focus in interpersonal exchanges today. Each of our socials attests to that fact. At the societal level we see our culture wrestling with where to draw the line between enough self-focus and too much unawareness of the world at large. 



The selfie stick makes the world a backdrop for self-focus. So, in a place like a museum that is about leaving the self for a moment in order to experience another world, it's not surprising to hear the selfie stick has been banned to encourage people to gain awareness of something beyond themselves.

It seems the problem is we're not sure how to create a rich balance between self and world right now. I was excited to see hardware geeks taking on the problem when I came across this video from last year of friends who turned headband-mounted smartphones into displays for friends to see themselves.

I'm pretty sure that's a shot we'd tag #selfierecursive. I'm down. Let's do more of this balancing between self, world, friends, community -- and fun.

Point Of Vision - public interaction at Bay Bar from aram bartholl on Vimeo.

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