2013: The Year of Narcissism

2013 marked the year of the “selfie”, a visual symbol of narcissism reaching new heights in the evolution of mankind. In fact according to Oxford Dictionaries the word’s popularity increased 17,000% from 2012 and was consequently named word of the year. They say “word” however my guess is the majority of this phenomena came with the hash prefix (#selfie) attached to a lame bathroom/gym/beach pose on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al.

I often wonder how Mark Zuckerberg will be viewed in 10-20-30 years, whom in my opinion is unquestionably currently the most powerful person on the planet. A man who has access to the thoughts and interests of over 1 billion of the wealthiest humans and can control, manipulate, hide or promote our every day lives, not to mention the $26B worth of ammunition.

Of more interest, how will future Zuckerberg view his own creation, the host of this narcissistic virus which has fully infected the western world and now moving east with major symptoms of Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and more recently ‘Diminishing Intelligence Syndrome’. Will he find solace simply as a member of “The Giving Pledge” the ultimate PR trump card exclusive to billionaires who seek redemption by bequeathing at least half of their wealth to cure the guilt amassed through a life of greed or wayward moral compass and cement their name in history as a “decent person”. Whatever the case, Facebook, despite Zuckerberg’s best intentions has become a monstrous juggernaut conditioning it’s users to get a kick out of every like, share and comment just as the pokie machine’s lights and music achieves.

I don’t blame Zuckerberg for paradoxically destroying our own social network by diluting it with pretend friends and elementary grade commentary. A) he didn’t create social media and B) it is the user which is responsible for enabling “friends” to keep promoting their daily tripe with the free and limitless supply of our cyber feel-good currency, the “like”.

This year I challenge you to put some value on your “like” and use only as a reward device for that rare occasion when your time hasn’t been wasted by observing friends’ addiction to relay every insignificant thought, mirror shot or location they’re temporarily inhabiting.

If 2013 was known for the #selfie, my quixotic hope for 2014 is the death of it and the beginning of a like life with value…

Disclosure: The author appreciates the hypocrisy of actively participating and promoting this piece on social media including Facebook.

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