When you see someone walking down the street with new sunglasses on, do you stare at them? Really stare at them, from every angle?
If you’re fortunate enough to have a selfie with President Obama, with Bono or with Sarah Jones, what do you look at when you look at the picture? Do you focus on the tie he was wearing, or her earrings? Or are you worried about the bit of parsley that was in your teeth or the ridiculous jacket you were wearing that day?
We like to see.
But mostly, we’re worried about being seen.
We spend far more time looking at ourselves in sunglasses than anyone else ever will.
And social media might appear to be about seeing what others are doing. But it’s actually about our juxtaposition with those others, our standing, our status… The reason we want to know what people are saying behind our backs isn’t because we care about them, it’s because we care about us.
The culture of celebrity that came with TV has shifted. It’s no longer about hoping for a glimpse of a star. It’s back to the source–hoping for a glimpse of ourselves, ourselves being seen.