My Question: Does social media feed our ‘fat relentless egos’ and therefore is ‘unselfing’ still possible in the age of the selfie?

Philosopher's reply

Dear Lucy,

Whilst social media has certainly increased social atomisation, encouraged a pathological and alienating obsession with the ‘self’ and status, it has also, to a certain degree enabled the development of broader social networks, and – most pertinently – political movements. The solidarity and recognition achieved by movements such as #metoo has enabled a kind of ‘unselfing’ which revolves around the rendering intelligible our own circumstances though attending to and recognising the circumstances and struggles of others. Insofar as this itself constitutes a form of ‘loving attention’ – both towards ourselves and to others – often it can be said that social media – with all its ills and barriers to ‘unselfing’ – has catalysed the possibility of a new process or variety of ‘unselfing’


Philosopher's profile

Anne-Marie McCallion

University of Manchester, UK

Iris Murdoch's philosophy, for me, embodies the possibility of a better philosophy. One which welcomes the challenge of shedding light on the complexities of human life, in manner which does not shy away from the messiness of such enquires.

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