Today’s video gives us a taste of raw egoism. It’s the 21st century autograph, where the photo matters all, the person nothing. No disclaimers, no excuses, no decorations: Pure “selfie”. The angle of the photo matters little, it’s the spirit underneath it all that makes me shutter. In the words of Pope Francis:

“Egoism leads nowhere. Love, however, frees. Therefore, those who are able to live their lives as “a gift to give others” will never be alone and will never experience “the tragedy of the isolated conscience”, easy prey of that “evil repaying Satan” ever “ready to swindle” those who choose his path.”

A tragedy of isolated conscience. Being alone amidst a crowd is infinitely worse than any physical loneliness. It reveals a deeper, subtler, and more spiritual disease. What was once a tool for communicating becomes a tool of vain self-contemplation. A means for good becomes a pseudo-anesthetic whose numbing venom slowly seals shut the human heart. Loneliness is the worst plague of our era. Do we not aspire for more?

When using videos like these, I wouldn’t suggest launching a sermon of correct use of cellphones or even about selfishness. First, show it and allow it to sink in for a few seconds. Ask what each one experienced as they saw it. Then simply ask what are their true aspirations. Is the tag worth sacrificing the person? Will such stupidities really satisfy us? Do we aspire to nothing more?