Religions throughout the world use the New Year as a time to repent for their sins and seek a more enlightened path, perhaps the world can take a step back from vanity and seek a more charitable and selfless path, maybe if we each focused on the importance of others then perhaps 2015 could be a year of positive social change.
According to recent theory, the trend of taking "selfies" is actually linked to mental health conditions, with a focus on an individuals obsession with looks and image. Studies have revealed that the majority of teenagers who are image and body conscious, have a compulsion to repeatedly take and post selfies across social media sites.
Inside our cars, we stop valuing human life and simultaneously overvalue our own time and importance. And because many people who work in the city drive back to the suburbs where they spend all of their money (becoming agents of urban sprawl), cars have become the standard accessory of urban economic divestment.
Some parents put their child on a pedestal. In fact, some mothers place their sons upon a pedestal. They glorify them, wait on them, pander to their every need. In their eyes, they can "do no wrong". The risk with this type of behaviour is that these men will often enter into relationships assuming the world revolves around him.
The inclusion of the word 'selfie' in the English Dictionary marks more than just the arrival of a new word, it marks the dawning of an unfortunate new era in narcissism. Einstein famously said, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." But he's a dead dude who didn't have an iPhone, let alone Snapchat.
There is a word for what the internet and social media have done to us: alienation. It means, literally, selling yourself into slavery, from the Latin for slave alienus. The word has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy, particularly in Plato and the Stoics, who warned that if you place too much value on your reputation or image, you enslave yourself to the fickle opinion of the public.
If narcissism is increasing, this is ominous for the mental health of future generations. It's associated with a strong sense of entitlement, which leads to unhappiness, through a sense of deprivation. Narcissists can't have proper deeper relationships because they merely seek to exploit others for their own ends - friends and lovers are always stepping stones to something better.
When I tell people I have had three scholarships in my life, 2 academic and 1 music they are impressed. When I tell them I studied piano for 12 years but stopped short of Grade 8 (the highest grade), they are impressed. When I say I won every form prize in my junior school, won competitions for speech and drama, poetry reading, the bishop chorister's award and played the lead 'Alice' in Alice in Wonderland, all before the age of 11, they ask me why I don't do any of it now? But of course I don't normally tell anyone these things. Because I didn't win them. My mother did.