“Selfie” was named word of the year for 2013. A “Selfie” is a self-portrait usually taken with a phone camera. But, the phenomenon more broadly describes an age of self-absorption. Our lives have always been our own play to produce. But now we seek to publish our productions without the editor’s hand to scratch out those mundane or maudlin details that lack drama and bore the reader to tears. We simply think too much about ourselves and lack the discretion to keep our thoughts private. Technology helps us to put off the real world. In the recently release film “Her” a man actually falls in love with his smartphone’s talking operating system who has a name, Samantha. “Hello, I’m here,” says the smartphone. Of course, I might fall in love with Scarlett Johansson’s sultry voice. But, essentially, we have an example of fantasy that at its core is isolationist. I can engage in mythical sex with a bodiless machine and who needs other people? Sounds like a perfect way for the human race to fall to the bottom of Darwin’s evolutionary tree.
(To tune of “Alfie,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David from the 1966 film of the same name)
What have you become, Selfie?
Are you too much involved with yourself?
Look what you’ve become, Tally up the sum, Selfie?
You’re alone on your own private shelf
Are your happy there? Can’t help
Wondering aloud, Selfie.
Are you proud of the person you are?
Posing for a shot, give it all you’ve got, Selfie.
Facebook shines on you and you’re a star.
A heart grown bare.
One not even aware Selfie.
There’s people near
People who need other people
Love is meant for two, Selfie.
To love yourself and no one else, Selfie.
That’s not true love, but something else.
That’s narcissism, Selfie.
Put your phone down and just look around
There’s a world to be found, Selfie.
Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved.