Signs of this hyper-self-consciousness are everywhere. My 2-1/2-year-old granddaughter — admittedly the current star of our family’s scene, and deservedly the apple of many an eye — gets more than her fair share of video time on every smartphone around. But it was troubling to see my husband’s latest mini-movie of her. There she was, delightfully, charmingly running in circles around her new, empty, and still-unpainted room in her family’s new house. After she’d made herself good and dizzy, she stopped, swerved a bit, and then headed straight for the iPhone, hands extended. “I want to see the picture,” she said. “I want to see the picture.”
Today, I opened an email from a friend in India, whose son is embarking on a 5400-mile roots trip, a 40-day yatra (pilgrimage) through his vast country. The young man’s announcement contained several hyperlinks, one being to the tiny looxcie, a hat-mountable video camera that is designed for streaming and social media. The company’s motto? “Share life as you live it (It’s more fun that way.)”
What drives this ramp-up in mirroring technology and obsession with being observed? Can we blame this real-time narcissism on Snookie? On Mark Zuckerberg? On Baby Boomers? (Surely, Boomers must be at least partially responsible, as they — we — are for so many societal ills.) As blogs are to novels and facebook friends are to friends, is simulacrumism to authentic living?
Where do we go from here? #hell #inastreaminghandbasket