Simon Terry

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2015 is the Year of the #Otherie

Photo: Very happy with myself in my selfie to end 2014.

#Selfies ruled 2014

2014 was the Year of the Selfie. We took photographing ourselves to new lengths during the year. Selfies were taken around the world.  Many were taken with and by celebrities. Selfies were photobombed by royalty. Some even chose some of the year’s worst disasters as a moment to share their image. We even created the selfie stick to take better photos of ourselves.

We love our own image. We know it well from our relationships with cameras and mirrors. Our self-image helps us shape our relationship with the world and the selfie was undoubtedly part of that relationship. One has only to look at all the photos of people holding smartphones before mirrors on Instagram to reflect on the significance we invest in sharing a good self-image. These images are as carefully curated illusions as the pages of most lifestyle magazines.  The competition of selfies invites me to remember the useful adage about self-image: “Never compare someone else’s showreel to your cutting room floor”.

Sadly, we often forget to invest the same time and effort in others around us.

The Year of The #Otherie

What if we made 2015 the Year of the Otherie? Instead of focusing our attention and sharing on ourselves, an otherie would focus our sights on the other relationships in our life. I am inspired by the ongoing focus on the person-to-person economy of Jonathan Anthony.  Jonathan is a great proponent of the selfie but he also stressed the opportunity to engage with others deeply. We are who we are not just because of our self-image but also because of those around us.  

Understanding others help us to be more human and better leverage the new opportunities of our network economy.  It also helps us to improve our own self-image.  Internal thoughts are no match for the creative and energising potential of purposeful and personal dialogue with another. We see ourselves better through the lens of another person’s eyes.

What would change if we started to take a good hard look at the others around us? What if we focused on their self-image, their worldview, their experiences and their goals? A selfie is an momentary blast of image. An otherie will be the foundation for a growing dialogue and relationship between two people.

Go out and take an otherie, a photo of someone else. Make it a basis for a conversation about their worldview, their goals and their self-image.  Share what you learn, add your #otherie tag and step by step we will turn 2015 into the Year of the Otherie.

I look forward to sharing an #otherie or several here as the year progresses.


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