Narcissism is Deadly

So, it’s official – death by selfie is more common than death by shark attack. I came across this piece while perusing the BBC website this morning: The Dangerous Art of the Ultimate Selfie

When will people realize that they should be reading their classics. Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And that prolonged gazing at one’s image leads to drowning in self – literally, ask any ancient Greek about beautiful Narcissus who fell into an image of himself in a pool and drowned.  I don’t like to include images in a blog about writing but this beautiful Caravaggio found in the Wikipedia entry is too good to miss.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Narcissus-Caravaggio_%281594-96%29_edited.jpg

If you were following my blog posts while on holiday you may have seen this one: I am here!  where my husband and I set out to try taking some selfies with our camera (sorry, no phone along) on a rainy day in Munich with amusing results. We were astounded by the number of travellers who seemed to want pictures of nothing but themselves to the point that the backgrounds didn’t matter. “Grand Canal…? nah, I’ll stand in front of this MacDonald’s sign instead.”  Grin and click.

Living life through a lens focused always on number 1 must stifle the creative process which involves looking and thinking and then maybe including yourself in a meaningful frame of reference. Photography is a wonderful way to capture a moment, an expression or a memory.

Sometimes photographs create their own art as this incredible winning photo by Canadian, Don Gutoski, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015-2016:

Tale of two foxes by Don Gutoski

Note the symmetry of heads and tails. You can read about this photo here: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

I had been nibbling at the idea that blogging may be the literary form of selfie taking but on further consideration, no, because it requires to much contemplation to get the words to pile up.  I suppose a continuous stream of texts identifying your position on the globe and every inane thought might qualify – wait a minute, is that facebook?

Don’t get me wrong.  I do love to see photos of my friends and family, just maybe not thousands of them and I don’t want to think that they risked their lives to get the shot.