Generally I’ve found that people in America don’t take life seriously enough until you bring death into the equation. I’ve also found that as Americans, we like to use the phrase “fight” when referencing almost anything. We fight wars, we fight for freedom, we fight cancer – the concept of doing something without violence is generally not a part of our immediate vocabulary. Because of this, I think a lot of growth for Americans has ceased to continue. This, in turn, has halted the growth of our global community or global consciousness. We’ve boxed off certain things and people and have forgotten how connected they all are. We’ve forgotten that you can’t talk about the environment without talking about race or gender, and we can’t talk about mental health without talking about the state of our environment. In addition, you can’t discuss immigration or border walls without acknoweledging what’s going on in the rest of the world.
I want to talk a little bit about Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is a theory that uses Capitalism as its system (which is an economic and governmental system). This theory, beginning with the Civil Rights Movement somewhere around the 1960s, brought about the rise of globalization- which has made it so that almost nothing in our market is made in America anymore. The idea that began this theory was, “If we de-regulate our economy, everything will work itself out” – however, this isn’t true, because the tax-cuts we’ve given to the world’s wealthiest people/corporations have not invested into the rest of the world and the wealth has not been able to trickle down.
As a country- we’ve forgotten that this system has been put into place and instead of changing it- we’ve perpetuated it by creating things like the “selfie”- coining a word that has now been officially added to the dictionary. What does the selfie symbolize? It represents the desire to be important, to be seen, to be acknoweledged as important within your social media community. Many people either make fun of this term or take it too seriously, but a vast majority of the population fall somewhere in the middle: incorporating the selfie into their daily lives. The selfie allows us to perpetuate neoliberal theory because it allows us to feel like we are famous and therefore a part of the multi-billion dollar society that is in awe of famous movie-stars and rich corporation owners. The selfie allows us to feel like we are equally as high on that chain if we can generate a similiar social media response. Don’t get me wrong, I love photography and am someone who has taken a large part in the selfie experience, but next time you stop to turn your camera around or invert the one on your phone- take a minute to consider its significance and what part you play as a human being in a misguided society.