Don´t always make fun of the selfie stick!
Today I posted this picture on Instagram.
I love everything about it! It is funny, colorful and inspires me to think about the society we live in. We all make jokes about selfies and laugh about the concept. Some people even think it is a superficial thing to do. And of course that would be the obvious thing to think. But if you look at this phenomenon from a sociologic and psychological point of view, you will find out that the human race is using reflexion as a natural proces to understand themself. Who you are compared to others.
Even babies are being reflexive!
In order to create your own identity you must be able to see how you differ from your surroundings. As a baby you find out that you are no longer a part of your mother. This happens when you are about 6 months old. The baby looks at her/himself in the mirror and recognizes her/himself. This is the beginning of a life as a reflexive human.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, the lake or any other surface, you are looking at a surface and not you. The surface is only representing a reflexion of you. This tension between our own substans and the rendering of ourself, is a natural part of our life as a human being.
The act of looking at yourself as an object (trying to see what other people see) and still be you, which means being present in your own body with all your senses, is a balance that is essential for our ability to create an identity. Without the reflexive proces the human being would be confused, empty and without any limits. The balance between seing yourself from the outside and still be the person on the inside, is what makes a person stabil.
This means that the act of looking at yourself –being reflexive is NOT a bad thing. You don´t have to make fun of it. It is essential for your wellbeing! There you have it folks! Embrace the selfie stick y´all!
The reflexive proces has changed dramatically
Our opportunity for rendering; seing ourself ”from outside of our body” has changed like crazy over the past decades. If we go way back –lets say to the stoneage, the human race could do the act of reflexion by looking in a lake and that was it! When we learned to work with materials like gold, silver and cobber, we got a new tool in which we could look at ourself. It was first in the 1800-century that mirrors, as we know them today, was invented. In 1885 the camera was invented and some years after, in 1888 the video-camera was invented, which gave us a unique possibility to look at ourself while we where moving (awesome!). Today we have our smartphone, and maybe even a selfie stick (lucky you) and this unique combo gives you the opportunity to look at yourself constantly! Anytime anywere!
But what do this proces do to us as human beings?
Arent´we being fuxxxxd up by looking at ourself 24-7? I mean the proces of reflexion is necessary, but all the time? This has to have some consequences….When the opportunity for reflexion has increased dramatically over the past decades , then the level and amount of time we use on reflexion has done the same; increased as hell….
But which effect does it have, when people are no longer capable of taking a walk in the forrest without taking pictures of it or yourself in the forrest? We have to tweet, instagramme or snapchatte everything we experience. Are we then capable of truly experiencing the unique moment we are in the middle of? No, not really. Unfortunately you can not be the observer and the subject on the same time. You have to choose, and often the role of the observer is dominating today. This is a huge paradox. We are longing for real, true, authentic experiences, but we are not able to be there and actually feel them. We are somewhere else –in the observer role!
We want to be in the moment and perpetuate it! But you simply can´t experience something and store the experience at the same time. It isn´t possible –yet….(someone please develop the technology, so this can be done, ok?).
Clothing as a reflexive tool
And now to the part I am a huge fan of –the magic that is to found in clothes. I have said it many times before –and (surprise) I will say it again. Fashion and the act of getting dressed is just like the lake, the mirror, the camera and the selfie stick –an opportunity to look at yourself. Clothes is not giving you a reflexion like the mirror, but by dressing, you put yourself in the role of an observer. You stand in front of the mirror at home or in the dressing room and ask yourself: ”Is this me”.
In this moment you are starting the reflexive proces. We are looking at ourself, as we think others maybe would look at us. You maybe think about how your colleges would think of you, your family, friends og maybe even strangers. You think about which signals you are sending and if these signals are the ones you really want to send. The reflexive dressing proces is not just a matter of ”can I be slutty on a monday”! No, it is a deep psychologic proces that touches our inner weelbeing. It makes sure, that you are exactly who you want to be. So be you –even if you have to use the selfie stick to find out who that is;-)