Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher once wrote a book on reverence and face-to-face relationships called I and Thou. There was poetry, majesty and a sense of sacred to the book. Meeting face to face becomes a ritual humanising relationship. Buber contrasts the I-Thou relationship full of reverence and anticipation with the I-It relationship, which is impersonal and instrumental. I was asked to read Buber by a philosopher friend of mine before I wrote anything on trolls.
Reading Buber gave you a perspective on the internet. It reminds you that technology is not complete without an act of storytelling. The story humanises the technology, provides a narrative. It is easy to confront troll and selfie on these lines. A selfie is an act of individuality seeking collectivity, desperate to sustain memory. A troll is an act of a collectivity seeking to distort a story and disrupt a community. A selfie is an invitation to a self, an act of trolling seeks to destroy the other as it cannot stand a different narrative. Within the technological realm, a selfie is an act of communication, a statement of biography and community. It tries to celebrate the authenticity of an experience by creating a community of memory around a biographical act. There is often an assembly-line obsessiveness to it, yet the selfie remains a human act.