After seeing Will Storr’s name pop up on two podcasts i like to listen to I decided to give one a go and the fact that I then proceeded to listen to the other straight after should tell you how much I enjoyed the first one.
Will Storr is an author who’s book “Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing To Us” has shot straight to the top of my ‘new book to buy list’. I’m sure that it is the list Will was looking at topping when releasing his book. If you’re wondering why I haven’t bought it yet, I’ll tell you; I’ve put a self imposed ban on myself buying books until I’ve got through the ones I’ve already got to read, and while I wouldn’t normally recommend a book I haven’t read yet myself, listening to Will on these two podcasts gives me enough confidence to recommend it without having read it first.
Here is the description of the book taken from a popular online shop:
We live in an age of perfectionism. Every day, we’re bombarded with the beautiful, successful, slim, socially-conscious and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self. We see this person constantly in shop windows, in newspapers, on the television, at the movies and all over our social media. We berate ourselves when we don’t match up to them – when we’re too fat, too old, too poor or too sad. This cycle can be extremely bad for us. In recent years, psychologists have even begun to think that many people take their own lives because of the impossible standards that are set for who they ought to be. Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us. Who, actually, is this person? Why does it hold such power over us? Could it be humanity’s deadliest idea? And, if so, is there any way we can break its spell? To find out, Storr takes us on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, the encounter groups of 1960s California and self-esteem evangelists of the late twentieth century to modern-day America, where research suggests today’s young people are in the grip of an epidemic of narcissism. He’ll tell the strange story of the individualist Western self from its birth on the Aegean to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we find ourselves today. Selfie reveals, for the first time, the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately . . . because it’s us.
Check Will out on the two podcasts below, Russell Brand’s “Under the Skin”, and Tim Livejoy’s “Dear Lovejoy”.