For some, photo-sharing sites have become public shrines to personal vanity. Particularly among teenage girls. Like Narcissus of old, they are absorbed in reflections of their own beauty.
Boys, on the other hand, are entranced by an endless stream of maidens who, like the ancient nymphs, are more fantasy than reality.
In this cycle, the voyeur feeds the narcissist and the narcissist the voyeur. The camera, rather than bringing people closer together, maintains an untouchable world of distant and augmented realities. Both ends of the spectrum lose perspective on what is real.
Beauty and appreciation of beauty are part of the sweet joys of life. Yet, beauty in the eye of the narcissist is no longer beauty for the sake of beauty. It is a commodity for sale on a path to fill a hidden emptiness. A void that is unable to accept the true value of beauty.
May the rising generation embrace a reality where the greatest moments take place off stage without camera or script. Moments that reward patience and delayed gratification. Moments of simple joy far beyond the hollows of narcissism and voyeurism.