This picture is taken in a beautiful part of America and the sign tells a story of that place. Look at all the marks that the foreigners left as a sign of their appreciation, to show the world that they traveled all the way to this great place. I chose this picture and changed it to use it as a commentary on our society that is heading more and more towards a “me” focused world instead of a world where the other (you) also counts. People say more and more: “I don’t want refugees because I don’t trust them” instead of YOU come from a country destroyed by a war and YOU have it much worse than I have so YOU can come here.
The internet brought the world and its people closer together compared to 20, 50 or a 100 years ago but this technical marvel has not brought our hearts closer together. Twitter brought us the Arab spring and a fifth of the world is connected on Facebook and you would think that we would be more understanding of each other. Instead we see more and more people and governments closing their doors and longing back to the day’s where everything was neat in a box and labeled for clarity. Our modern need to take selfies is a vivid reminder of this, we like to share with the world a picture of ourselves, look at me.
I was this week for work in Amsterdam and there I saw the famous selfie sticks in use and I paid some attention. To be fair, the people were taking photos of all the sites, but they stuck their head in front of it and the camera every time. Imagine these people showing their pictures back home to some family members: here is a picture of me, and me, and me and my friend, and me etc. They showed the world where they have been instead of what that other world looks like. But maybe I’m not fair, 20 years ago it was not possible to easily make selfies with the film camera’s we had back then and it was a lot of work to send a couple of hundred friends a copy of your pictures. Maybe the modern technique has only awoken a slumbering need in us humans. Maybe there was never a Youtah and always a Metah