What’s going on? What on earth has social media done to our brains? Time was people would go on holiday, or to a concert, or for a meal with their friends and just enjoy the experience. Now they have to spend half the time photographing themselves having the experience so that they can show other people that they were there and then have an electronic conversation with their absent friends about it on Facebook – whilst the friends who actually bothered to show up grit their teeth and check the sharpness of the cutlery.
The latest abomination to surface from this global epidemic of self-regard is the accursed “Selfie Stick”. Here’s how it works; you stick your phone or camera or whatever on the end of a long telescopic stick and then force everyone around you to move out of the way so that you can take a picture of yourself with everything around you in the background.
WHAT’S THE POINT!
Do your friends think that you’re a liar? Will they suspect you of completely inventing your holiday if you don’t have your grinning chops at the front of every photo you shoot.
You may be homely, you may be stunningly beautiful; doesn’t matter. Do you really think that the splendour of a Koh Chang Sunset from Kai Bae Viewpoint will be improved by the unsubtle juxtaposition of your beaming grin? Do you think Michelangelo left a little space on the Sistine Chapel roof where he knew future generations would want to stick their heads when they photographed it? Isn’t the Mona Lisa really laughing at you?
Koh Chang, as a holiday destination, is increasingly beset by these instruments of self-obsession. Walking down some of the beaches you are in danger of being spiked on them like a Spanish bull and you’re forced to duck and dive out of the frame of photo after photo like a reluctant gymnast.
What happens afterwards? Do the takers of selfies go home and look through their photos whilst taking photos of themselves looking at photos? And then do they take more photos of themselves looking at the photos of them looking at the photos. And on, and on, to a hideous infinity.
And what about that beautiful sunset? The one that got forgotten in the selfie posting frenzy. Wouldn’t it be better to bask in its warmth and marvel at the dying glow of the crimson disk as it slips into the ocean, illuminating the sky, the land and the sea in a kaleidoscope of ever-changing colours?