If in the last thirty years the disease to be treated has been depression, for the next few years it will be narcissism, which in itself is not a disease, is not a pathology, and has not led to particular tragedies to date.
But if we do not focus on what is happening in the era of the digital revolution, it will become a disabling pathology, a modern hysteria, capable of compromising social relationships, work, and feelings.
What happens if billions of people travel around the world ready to photograph everything they see? It happens that the web is filled with images, and we know this.
But if through the two or three billion cell phones people begin to photograph themselves and self-publish it happens that the narcissistic disease will cause irreversible damage, because if before the self-timer was a complicated practice, today it has become a habit, thanks to front cameras. Thus the web is filled with photographs that, unlike in the past, give a sort of power to make us more interesting, falsifying normality: through shots, cuts, lights, and expressions, and even sophisticated tools that falsify normality they can make us appear as we aren’t, showing us in a way that can upset the physiognomy of people.
Desires and future possibilities that have only been dreamed of are expressed through an image. Through elements such as the gaze, a way of posing, the use of accessories exorcises what has not been experienced. There is the hope of becoming, for the infinite instant of the image, what one has always wanted to be.
Digital cameras are not the evolution of the old analogue photography, they are a new way of looking at others and oneself. Billions of photographic tools will allow us to offer ourselves and to others the image of what we would like to be.
This collective narcissism steals identity and hides us.
It is not a faithful reflection in the stream, but it is a dreamed stream. And if what one would like to be overlaps too much with what one is, there are only broken images, empty ones, photos on the sidelines of absent lives. There remains a blind soul without a mirror, capable only of masking the future.