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Now you see me, now you don’t 

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Image by Milada Vigerova

Identities are social. We don't know who we are until we see how to fit in or stand out from others.

Before people owned mirrors, they saw themselves as extensions of their tribe and God. It wasn't until the fifteenth century did the mirror introduce people to their individuality. Mirror owners then went on to have their portraits done to reinforce the importance of their self-worth.

Unless you're a Narcissist, the mirror today is for making edits: to your hair, face, and to brush your teeth. The modern day mirror is the selfie, the results of having a mobile camera. We use our phones to project our identity onto the world.

Likes and comments are a validation of our uniqueness. Like portraits of past, Facebook and Instagram invite the viewer to “Look at me!” We all become quasi-celebrities. It's hard to be a true individual, a purple cow, in an age of Internet ubiquity.

So how do you stand out? You don't. You disconnect. The more unplugged you are, the more mysterious and different you seem to appear. The new individualism is again offline and mirrorless.

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Published by wells baum aka bombtune

A daily blogger who connects the dots between beats, culture, and technology.

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  1. Word. Nothing bores me more though than the obvious. If you have a good taste, I think one should mix what they know people will like versus what they think they will like. But I realize that in today’s world, most people want algorithms to decide for them which is fine bc there’s an excess of noise but the formulas inhibit serendipity. In order to be edgy, you got to go a bit deeper.

  2. Interesting post. I don’t think it’s necessarily true that disconnecting is the new individualism. When you are younger and see someone at school every day and want to know more about them but they’re not on social media I suppose that can make them seem more “mysterious,” but when you stop seeing that person every day, they slip from being mysterious to being anonymous or not seen at all.

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