Great read on the narcissism of voluntourism and social media, featuring The Suffering Other, The Self-Directed Samaritan, and The Overseas Selfie.
However, on-line narcissism isn’t limited to voluntourism — it is rampant in activist and social justice communities, too.
There are very productive ways to use social media to encourage discussion and critiques, share resources, or contribute to forward movement around an issue, but often I find that these efforts are lost in a sea of posts along the lines of The Proof I Care, the Justice As A Solo Performance, and The Demonstration Selfie.
We must dig deeper and be conscious of how we are using these platforms:
- What is the intention behind my posts?
- Am I posting to prove to others that [I am here / I care / I am ____]?
- Am I usually at the center of my posts?
- Do I post to analyze, share, and/or engage others?
- How can I best use my experiences as a vehicle to discuss the issue?
- Collectively, what is the tone of my posts?