Take a Selfie to cure depression.

There is a general disparaging of taking selfies. Why? Well, there is tendency to feel queasy about the egotism of it. It all seems narcissistic and vain.

This is a viewpoint that I would probably accept if you keep the photos private – part of your own secret world that only you and your phone share.

However, not so, if you plaster them all over the Internet. If you keep them private for your own narcissistic enjoyment on your phone there is some self-absorption going on there.

But, if you plaster them all over the Internet, the self-absorption of the selfie is turned outward. The posted selfie is an expression of deeply depressed individual. It is the act of someone trying to overcome their sense of existential angst and emptiness by proving their importance and existence.

Posting a selfie is like a junkie rush for existential angst. As the picture is posted, there is a relief, and a high from realising that your existence matters. You’ve proved you exist, and that exposure means you have made a difference. For a brief moment, you have communicated that your life is currently occupied in some sense. The relief comes from the subsiding of the existential angst, and the serotonin hit comes from the enjoyment of communicating that your existence matters, and someone is aware of it.

But, the selfie, like all those drunken selfies, has the hang-over lurking over the shoulder. Posting a selfie lifts despair and responds to existential angst in a way that is perfect for the risk averse who fear the hang-over of really being drunk. Instead, the hang-over of the selfie is the realisation that posting a selfie doesn’t give your life meaning, and it is still has no external value.

Posting a selfie is the “quick fix” for depression, because it communicates your existence to the world. It proves that your existence matters, because if you did not exist, that picture could not have been posted. However, there is the rub, the selfie itself does not prove your existence matters, because it emerges as just one more selfie caught in the mirage world of the Internet.

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