Selfie Sticks

The selfie stick is arguably the object most representative of this decade: a camera/phone extension to enable us to take better pictures of ourselves against various backdrops.

I saw this article on the BBC News app and it made me smile:

The science behind why we take selfies

I have a much simpler explanation.

We are just obsessed with ourselves to the exclusion of everything and everybody else.

In my humble opinion, it’s not a good place to be.

On a recent trip to Paris to promote my new album MY TITANIC on a radio show, I played tourist and went on one of those open-top bus sightseeing tours of the city with my wife, Brigitte. Wonderful spring weather, very agreeable. But what struck me as we went round the city was that people were consistently only taking pictures of themselves. Me in front of the Eiffel Tower. Me with the Champs-Elysées in the background. Me and Notre-Dame. Me.

I imagined these people sharing these pictures with their friends and the stultifying boredom of being subjected to 150 pictures of ME. Where people in the past would have been fascinated by the sights and taken pictures of the city to show their friends, Paris has now become simply a backdrop, a prop in the studio of me.

How did we get so obsessed with ourselves? When exactly did the outside world start to exist only in order for us to better show ourselves off? Will taking endless pictures of ourselves make us happy?

My advice.

Take one or two pictures of yourself on your smartphone with your selfie stick and then put it away and start really looking at the world around you. If inspired, take pictures of what you see. Much more interesting for you. Much more interesting for the people who will have to look at your photos later.

As Henry James once put it, “Losing yourself is the next best thing to dying.”

Have a great weekend.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

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