Selfie: why are we doing this?


False “I”

But contact with others, the desire to share oneself is not always the very goal pursued by those who are fond of selfies. In the word itself (from the English self – “I”) there is a kind of parody, a game of oneself. This parody can expand the space of “I” images, but it can also form a kind of false “I”.

We are no longer presenting ourselves to the world, but the image that we would like to show. Even taking pictures of ourselves in an unattractive way (without makeup, with disheveled hair, with a grimace on our face), we want it to fit into a certain trend, to look relevant, even stylish in its own way. We begin to build our image based on our ideas about how our environment expects to see us. The selfie turns into an analogue of the child’s fake “I”, which psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott wrote about. In contrast to the true “I”, the child creates an auxiliary personality structure in order to please his mother. But the development of the true “I” stops at the same time.

Confirmation of its existence

By distributing photos of ourselves in different situations, we seem to declare to the world: “I am. I exist”. We need the world to respond to us, reflect our presence in it. “Likes”, comments are just confirmation. A small child is aware of his existence through a connection with his mother. For him, she is the whole world. If she does not speak to him, does not touch him, he begins to think that the world rejects him, he is not needed. And this is an alarming moment when such a scheme begins to play out already at a fairly adult age.

Basically, obsessively sending out selfies, we’re trying to shout out to the world. And the more we depend on the response, the more we begin to doubt our own self-sufficiency, we fall into dependence on “likes”.

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