I stumbled upon this book “Selfie: How We Became So Self Obsessed and What It’s Doing To Us” by author Will Storr in Paris, France at Shakespeare and Co. last year.
The cover of the book is bit of marketing gimmick – it’s not really about the social media Facebook/Instagram age, rather it’s about the narrative history of self-identity and personal psychology in Western society.
Storr makes the argument the “I” generation derived out of Ancient Greece, which later led to things like the Esalen Institute in the 1980s, which gave birth to people like Joseph Campbell, Aldeous Huxley, Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, and Steve Jobs, among other people and ideas which dominate our culture.
There is strong evidence for Storr‘s arguments. He traces many connections, but way too much to get into detail here.
Contrary to popular though, Storr writes about how many modern psychologist believe there is no one true self, rather just we’re a reflection of many parts of ourselves in different situations.
Thus, there is no core “I” as we like to believe. We’re a bunch of multiple personality types which arise in different contexts. So, the “I” generation, Storr argues, is based on a lie perpetuated for a variety of reasons. It’s a false belief.
The book explores darker subjects such as reasons for suicides (when our personal narrative goes awry) and the overall narrative of the “self” that we all tell ourselves.
Highly recommend this book to those with the interest.