Being the tech wizard that I am, I inadvertently pressed the reverse button on my iPhone camera one morning and, voila, the next picture I took was of me. This was my first selfie.
It's difficult to describe the feeling that I had. Strange comes closest, but it doesn't quite capture its seismic impact. But one thing was clear, this was something I was not very comfortable with.
And then it hit me! I must have Low Selfie-Esteem: the feeling of inadequacy that comes from not having sufficient digital narcissism to want to continually look at and admire oneself.
What's wrong with me? I should have seen this coming when I forgot my Facebook password for lack of use.
Our culturally conditioned sense of self has shifted from inside (memories, thoughts, feelings) to outside (photos, posts, tweets). External has replaced internal, and narcissism has become digitized with Facebook as its face. This series of existential reversals has me bewildered. How, after all these years, can I transfer my "self" from interior to exterior?
I don't know what to do. Nobody else that I know has this condition. Should I do the CBT thing and change my self-talk? Nope, that wouldn't work.
So what am I left with? Drugs? It certainly would make for an interesting commercial. As the viewers watch a clip of emotionally distressed people struggling to take selfies, the narrator says, "are you suffering from an inability to externalize your experience? Are you stuck with your thoughts, feelings and memories inside yourself? Are you unable to post your secrets on social media sites so everybody knows everything about you? Well, don't worry because Narcipro can help. In clinical trials it has proven to remove self-consciousness and stimulate narcissistic behavior, with only minimal side effects. Narcipro can insure your ability to become totally self absorbed."
Maybe a support group is possible. There have to be more people suffering from the shame of Low Selfie-Esteem, yearning to focus the camera lens on their own smiling faces and then posting the photos across the spectrum of digital platforms. Perhaps we can get a movement going. We could borrow from 12-step programs and provide relief and support for all those suffering. I can see myself now standing up at a meeting and doing the customary introduction, " Hi, my name is Lloyd and I have Low Selfie-Esteem."