All around the world venues, including The Louvre in Paris, The National Gallery of Australia, The Hermitage in Amsterdam and the Coachella music festival in California are banning the ubiquitous selfie sticks. Icons of a new generation they make the act of taking a “selfie” so much easier, often allowing more “selfie” addicts into the shot. Smart phones have made it possible, perhaps more than at any time in history to make “you” the image to remember an experience by. Whereas, in previous generations it was the vista, the view, the building, bridge, painting or performer that you’d actually travelled to see, now these things are background to another picture of you. Today, it seems, we travel the world to find “us”.
At 3 Gaps we talk about the Beliefs Gap as one of the gaps hindering our ability to find real happiness and experience Inner Peace. A Beliefs Gap is created when what we believe is inconsistent with “reality”. As a general rule we can know our beliefs are straying from reality when they are becoming less and less productive – less able to “meet our needs over time.” Now, where a selfie might meet an immediate need to capture and share our image on Instagram or some other social media platform does it really have a lasting, productive effect? In years to come will screen after screen and folder after folder of pictures of “me” be something I can share with loved ones – friends, family, children and grandchildren? Or, will it seem a little shallow when all I’ve got for memories are mirrors?
The subtitle of my book, The 3 Gaps – Are You Making a Difference- asks that important question – am I making a difference? I don’t think a catalogue of selfies is, in itself, a bad thing but, I do believe it may take away from a better thing. What if we all spent a little less time capturing ourselves in the environment and spent a little more capturing the environment in ourselves? What if we took time to see beyond the smartphone lens and experienced where we were – the canyon, the gallery, the city, the vista and, from that experience, took away lessons and stories we could share with others to enrich their lives, teach lessons, stir emotions and provide stimulus to conversations, rich with experience, on how we might all do better at making a difference in this big, beautiful world we all share?
After all, you don’t become relevant by becoming a caricature with life happening in the background, you become relevant by becoming a participant with life happening all around you.