“Eve Segwick argues that modern literature depends in large part on a dichotomizing tension between what she calls universal v. minoritizing sexualities. I think a similar tension exists in social media cultures between legitimate and suspect notions of the self—the self v. selfie, if you will”
I think that is an interesting dichotomy, but I wonder whether it is useful to cling to the possibility of a “legitimate” self, as if there were selves that were illegitimate, that “lack integrity,” as Mark Zuckerberg infamously claimed.
Selfies don’t delegitimize or undermine the “legitimate self” so much as generate it, posit its existence as “that which is not selfie."
In other words, selfies assault the notion of autonomous, persistent, transcendent identity; the willingness to take them and share them inadvertently shows you don’t believe in the true, real self inside but instead in the need to continually demonstrate who you wanted to be, who you were, in a given moment, for a particular audience. The "self” implies another’s point of view on it, a perspective that generates it. You don’t exist as a self until someone else recognizes it. The selfie simulates, evokes, that outside point of view. It makes our self real to us, something we can experience, consume, as the expense of pretending to be someone else as we look.