I wasn’t sure how to entitle this article. First, I thought, “Privacy.” Next, the word “Exhibitionism” came to mind. When I told my husband about my dilemma, he suggested, “Look at Me.”
I liked his opinion, but I wanted a one-word pow, so I landed on “Meeeeee.” Why? We live in a “Me, Myself, and I” society where privacy is disregarded and thrown by the wayside. Conversely, exhibitionism is front and center. Although the DSM V continues to deem Exhibitionism Disorder as pathological, the criteria are very narrow. Guess what? If you display yourself more broadly as the internet allows you to do, you are fine and dandy.
Displays of Sexual Interactions
Recently, someone revealed a well-known podcast star’s video to the world via the internet. He and his partner-in-extracurricular activities used a dog collar. His accomplice, an Instagram model, obviously likes to be on display in more ways than one.
The popular podcaster wondered what the big deal was since this was consensual between two adults. He is correct, except some are not comfortable with such up-close-and-personal displays. The stocks of companies that support his organization took a hit. For dog lovers, you have to wonder if the use of the dog collar had any impact. Well, in my opinion, if someone wants to use a dog collar or even get on all fours and bark, “Woof,” be my guest as long as my neck or dogs are not involved.
The congenial and generous host has done much to help businesses during this pandemic. Knowing that society is always looking for “Next,” I am sure this will pass. What is my suggestion to this host? Keep what goes on behind closed doors, behind closed doors sans video. Allow those precious moments to be snapshots in your brain. You will be better off.
Exhibitionism is in full glory with other infamous, I mean, famous people. A politician’s son’s explicit video recently came to light. Many of us who do not follow specific sources’ collective narratives knew about this video that did not rear its salacious head until after a particular midnight hour. Two’s company was not enough for the people involved, and speaking of dogs again, well, lo and behold, one was at the foot of the bed. Don’t worry, dog lovers, he looked perfectly content. I would speculate the moans involved may have evoked a few howls from the pooch. Just saying.
Yes, people cannot seem to get enough of, well, themselves. These displays go beyond sexual interactions. How about a certain Prince and his bride interviewed by Oprah? Yes, they decided to have a confessorial discussion about a royal family, one who has earned the respect of many of us worldwide. What was the purpose of this? Fame and Fortune? It seems to me; they already have much more than most could imagine. I believe they have a multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix.
Also, rumor has it that many in the family were not happy with this one-sided discussion about their way of life. Can you blame them? As a therapist, my suggestion would have been to seek out a family therapist or find someone who could navigate a discussion behind closed doors. Yes, I repeat that phrase, “behind closed doors.”
The Prince’s grandfather just left his earthly life. From everything I hear, he was the antithesis of “me, me, me.” He served his adoptive country with honor and went on to do the same for his citizens. He deferred to his wife, the Queen. Reportedly, he was her greatest confidante, friend, and support. This gentleman seems to be a part of days gone by, where the focus was on the others and not him.
Call me old-fashioned, which I am, but as the Keeper of the Secrets, I believe that our society has gone beyond the need to feed a frenzied narcissism. People feel a necessity not just to say “thank you for the memories,” but keep them alive and well. Even if they want to save videos for private viewing, they forget that many have a voyeuristic hunger to watch and see, or even more disturbingly, use them as a means to destroy. Also, verbal “letting-it-all-hang out,” because people feel slighted, creates even more division. As the great Confucius once said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” In my opinion, emblazon this ageless quote for all to see.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
What are your thoughts on our “me” society? Do you believe that specific interactions should remain private? I invite you to share your insights.
Ahhh yes… another case of Woe Is Me… sponsored by your favorite corporate activists. Frankly speaking, I think most people are tired of seeing privileged, wealthy elitists using their platforms to claim they are oppressed from the comforts of their multi-million dollar estates. Personally I think it’s just another nauseating form of vanity from people whose egos have lost touch with reality. I don’t know about you Darlene, but I have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Every time I turn on the television or read the news online, I’m reminded of how racist, sexist and horrible I am as a tax-paying voter… that my culture and upbringing is a systemic part of the problem… All this while they reach deeper into our pockets and take just a little more. People wonder why factions like BLM, Antifa and Q-Anon exist… Probably because elitist hypocrites in government and in media make a fortune sewing the seeds of division and hatred. It’s the greatest pyramid scheme in history and we’re all feeding into it with our rage. May as well throw the tech giants and Hollywood into that toxic equation as well. Plain and simple, we are losing our souls in the process of playing victim and nobody seems to give a damn. As for exhibitionism… that just goes with the territory. Values, privacy and decency? Let’s just post our entire existence online – our tendencies, our grievances, our bloody ignorance – let’s post it all for the entire world to judge and condemn. The full nakedness of our humanity is on full display, like freaks in a sideshow. But don’t worry… I’m sure everything will be just fine as Mark Zuckerberg counts his grubby bitcoins. 😖
Nice to see you here. I love your passion which I share. I could not agree with you more. The role of the Fourth Estate is to report the facts in an engaging but accurate faction. Once they do, the reader can determine their opinion. The same goes with University professors. Allow the student to derive, based on those pesky facts, their own conclusion. Our “Me” society wants to give everyone a trophy, an artificial elevation. I plan on writing about that at a later point. Don’t award me the “A” unless I have earned it. Anyway, I digress. I do not see clients on Mondays so I plan on tackling part 2 of “Meeeee.” Thank you as always for your amazing insights.
With a smile and much gratitude,
My stepmother was head of the Libertarian Party in Pennsylvania. We had many knock-down arguments about “the virtue of selfishness.”
The legacy of “he who dies with the most toys wins” and zero-sum thinking has at the least contributed to, and perhaps spawned gun rights, states rights (a veil for racism, misogyny, homophobia) and seeing empathy and vulnerability as weakness. I am painting with a broad brush here, and I admit to having been remarkably selfish at times in my life. That memememememe kept me from understanding the joy of “enough.” Here’s a delightful podcast with our own Sarah Ratekin on that topic: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1171136/8158375
We promote eros (sexual love), philia (deep friendship, though this is arguable in the virtual world), but we seem to have moved away from agape: love for everyone. Another way to put that is my favorite definition of respect: unconditional positive regard. After all, we all have more in common than we have different. As Sting mused: “I hope the Russins love their children too.”
Anyhow, thanks for stirring up the water for us, a great habit. Please come to the Synopsis 360 events – the first Tuesday of every month. They’re challenging and great fun (that’s redundant, but hey . . . . )
I am sorry for the delay in your thoughtful and thought-provoking comment. I greatly appreciate it, and I hope you are well! Yes, your stepmother obviously adhered to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of the “virtue of selfishness.” Although I respect Ms. Rand’s warnings about communism, I agree. I cannot accept her view on selfishness. It goes against my own desire to serve others. Also, I am a women of faith, and I cannot reconcile her objectivist view on God. How does someone by age 14 determine that?
As far a gun rights, I know many wonderful people who are not an “ist” and support the individual rights of individuals to lawfully carry firearms. Anyway, we can agree to disagree, I think, even in these turbulent “Me” times.
Thank you for the invitation to attend Synopsis 360. I am quite busy as a therapist, and Tuesdays tend to be one of my heavy-hitting days. Also, for other reasons, I do not attend at this time. Perhaps that will change in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, I thank you again for your insights. Stay well!
With a smile,
I love that you brought your husband into the discussion. My wife (defected from Russia in 1990) and I met in 2016 as a kind of cosmic conspiracy, recognizing a deep quest for truth we both have, and not just the normal relationship stuff – the relation-ship on the ocean of emotion of life and living. Our capacity for intimacy with a greater reality is stifled by the ever-present ‘I’m more important than you’ mindset of the precious fear-full creatures we’ve met during this plandemic.
For us, the about ‘me’ is the clarity of health and well-being for our body/mind/spirit. We’ve learned that priority isn’t high on most people’s lists and so the desire to share it’s importance has waned. We want to feed the right wolf, right? As a coach, I certainly enjoy helping clients to see themselves differently as we explore their intimate connection with reality that they’ve often overlooked their entire life. Changing the view accelerates their achievements, too.
What’s a bit spooky for us is the stuckness in humanity over the fallacious narrative that is pushing a corporate take-over on our bodies. So many seem to just want to go with the flow, not question the science and believe what they’re being told by some ‘authority’ that only says so and has no science, no Koch’s Postulate and no testing to prove it’s safe, let alone effective. Alas, critical thinking and deductive logic is a rarity in human beings these days. We need an upwising. Thanks so much for the wonderful article, Darlene.
Thank you so much, Zen, for your thoughtful comment. First of all, I appreciate you reading and sharing such insights. I could not agree with you more about so many going with the flow just to follow the crowd. We must continue to question the self-appointed experts and recognize that the science is never settled. As your wife, and I am sure you, are aware what happens to people when they do not challenge certain premises. Again, I am most grateful for your rich response.
Also, cheers to you and your wife for finding each other. You probably are aware of the following quote that Robert Browning said to his beloved Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made.” If not, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you again!
With a smile,