Title

Are We Distracting Ourselves to Death?

Author(s)

Karen PriorFollow

Publication Date

July 2016

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Published in Christianity Today. Permission has been granted by the Editor to upload this contribution. All rights secured. No copy of this file may be sold or reprinted in whole or in part. For further information, please see www.christianitytoday.com/.

Abstract

Not long ago, my community lost a beloved young member because of his repeated trespassing onto a dangerous train trestle to take selfies. He posted them with the hashtag #liveauthentic. His last time there, he died while trying to outrun the train. (People take such extraordinary measures to get selfies that so-called “selfie-related deaths” are a global phenomenon. Wikipedia now keeps a tally.) For him and for many others, capturing an experience with a photo, video, tweet, or blog post can hold more importance than the actual experience and reflects a phenomenon that the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard called the hyperreal.