This Is The Antidote For Digital Narcissism

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What’s sad is that for some people, the vacation didn’t happen and the charitable work doesn’t count unless it’s on social media. It has to be uploaded, seen and liked to matter.

What you seldom see are the routine parts of people’s lives. The boring stuff like reading email at work. Poring over spreadsheets and enduring conference calls. Doing the laundry and vacuuming. How boring!

People only portray the cool stuff. The coffee shop photos or selfies in the gym, where they’re showing up their sedentary friends. They share this stuff because it reflects well on them. They know it will garner lots of likes. And that makes them feel good.

Finstagram – a secret Instagram account to post ugly selfies

Finstagram … post to a sympathetic audience.

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A Finstagram – or Finsta – is a fake Instagram account.

Aren’t all Instagram accounts, with their carefully curated posts and poses, in a very real sense fake? Yeah, sure, thanks Baudrillard. These are fake in the sense of secret – they are private, locked accounts set up in addition to main accounts, with access granted only to a chosen few followers.

Why? So that more natural, less effortful posts can be put up and read.

So … the fake account allows for more reality? Yes. It’s where you can post ugly selfies, private jokes, personal rants, pictures of outfits you’re genuinely seeking advice on, screenshots of funny family group texts, pictures of yourself in the middle of a good cry, that sort of thing, to a relatively sympathetic audience.

‘Sim or human?’ Model with cartoon-like features sends Instagram into a frenzy as fans debate whether she’s real or not

The latest Insta-famous model Lil Miquela has sent her fanbase of more than 65,000 into a frenzy as they debate whether she's a real person or not

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With her plump lips, huge eyes and doll-like demeanour, she looks as if she could have stepped straight out of a video game

So perhaps it’s no wonder the latest Insta-famous model Lil Miquela has sent her fanbase of more than 65,000 into a frenzy as they debate whether she’s a real person or not.

Miquela regularly treats her Instagram followers to pictures of her posing in off-duty model worthy athleisure, visiting nightclubs and art galleries.

Our digital lives and the chaos beneath

Wictor Forss

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Disturbed by a technical glitch while watching a box set, Will Self began to consider the narrowing gap between images and real life. Is technology altering our grasp on reality?

…Let me take you back to Engrenages. My chronicle of the momentary disintegration of the image of these actors’ bodies was far from exhaustive. When I described the “small massif” of skin-covered cubes, and the “iridescent smear” of interference I was struggling to devise a typology for a completely novel phenomenon; the underlying technology productive of these images is completely different from the television broadcasting of the 60s and 70s; and it seems to me that when they prove friable and fall apart, what we glimpse is precisely that underlying technology: we actually see the ulterior realm of the digital, wherein our entire reality is composed from the zeroes and ones of software machine code. To me it really does appear that way – but why? It’s because of our faith, I think – not faith in an immaterial being, or a transcendent reality, but faith in the very ability of digitisation to produce the highest imaginable degree of verisimilitude. There is no real comparison between an isolated piece of equipment from which sound emanates and a world-girdling network of bi-directional digital mediatisation that pullulates with sound, images and signs.

 

The Real Me

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The internet is an unrelenting enabler of our flaws and an unforgiving archive of them—so should you google your new love interest, or hold off? And what if they google you first?

…Unwelcome Search Result No. 1: My Evil Twins. I, like many people, have my share of Google doppelgängers, some of whom have decidedly odd hobbies or are otherwise, shall we say, the date-scaring types. Decades older. Civil War-obsessed. Freemasons.

Unwelcome Search Result No. 2: The Old Me. The me I wished to forget. The me that still lingered in the internet’s scrapbook of Doug’s Greatest Hits of Awkwardness. School photos from the days of Zubaz and a white-boy ‘fro. Sporting achievements that betrayed my utter lack of athleticism, like my glacier-paced 10K time and my even less impressive showing as a “mathlete.” Or, God help me, poetry.

Worst Search Result of Them All: The Real Me. As a struggling travel writer, I had a website full of struggling-travel-writer things: a where-I’ve-been list of decidedly non-exotic places; a blog I updated with the same sporadic, haphazard approach I applied to getting my car’s oil changed; a smattering of articles I’d written for unrecognizably obscure publications. An accurate representation of me, yes—but that was the problem.