Happiness Or Narcissism?
Image Source: The Boston Globe
We’ve all seen it, facilitated it, and even done it ourselves. I’m talking about that thing that we do when we post pictures of ourselves on social media doing really fun, enviable things under the guise of “sharing this great experience” when the real goal is something more like “look at this cool thing I did and you should feel a little bit jealous.” Why? Because social media brings out the narcissist in us all. Everyone loves a little attention and praise here and there, myself included, but at what point does it become a problem?
In Paris, the Rue Crémieux is a top photography spot among bloggers and tourists, alike. It’s cute, it’s colorful, and it offers the perfect backdrop to show off your outfit of the day. What about the person who lives in that pastel pink house whose window you’re posed in front of? The residents of this ‘gramable street have taken action to protect their privacy in the form of asking the city to close off the street to visitors on evenings and weekends. The residents of Boston’s very own Instagram star have had to ask people to remain on the sidewalk instead of posting up on the stoop or climbing the fire escape to get the perfect pic.
Enter The Happy Place, a space literally designed for people to take photos for Instagram doing things they’d not be caught dead doing in any real-life situation. In an effort to “fill the world with more happiness” this plastic theme park is really only contributing to the rise of those narcissistic tendencies that are becoming defining characteristics of the social media generation. It’s one thing to take a picture in the Public Garden on a particularly nice day and post online, it’s quite another to charge people $35 for the privilege of standing in front of giant yellow letters that spell out “HAPPY.” However, if you’ve got 35 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, it might be a fun way to kill a Saturday afternoon. Maybe for Boston’s next social media-related installation, we should consider something more along the lines of Bansky’s Selfie Hole.
Posted by Catherine