The New 'Selfie' Society

What did you have for dinner last night? Did you take a picture of it and post it on Instagram? What about your last vacation... was it somewhere fantastic and photogenic?

In just a few short years our mobile phone driven world has turned a world of camera-shy and often appropriately modest friends and neighbors into a digitally connected world of on-camera performers... creating visual autobiographies in real-time.

A massive change even since 2013 when 'Selfie' was voted 'Word of the Year' by the English Oxford Dictionary.

Today, we live in what my friend and Quora rock star David S. Rose calls a "Selfie Society." And he's so right.

The driving force in this image driven social networking is Instagram. With more than 300 million users - Instagram's users include celebrities, brands, media companies - and of course your friends. Lot's of them. Regular people, celebrities, companies and organizations already on board, Instagram offers something for everyone. You can also choose to interact privately with a small group of your friends. Oh, and of course it's free -and owned by Facebook. Instagram shows a constant stream of friends and coworkers in wonderful, ands have fabulous fun. It's driven a phenomenon known as FOMO... Fear Of Missing Out - which is driving depression and anxiety among young users.

So, is this always-on-camera world a sign of the new narcissism, or a new connected world in which we're all sharing and connecting, the first step toward making diversity and social justice visible to all?

There are two emerging trends that suggest our self-surveillance is just getting started. Need proof? Check out AirDog.

AirDog is a drone, but not just any drone... a live video capture drone that follows you automatically by tracking your "AirLeash" and turning a drone into an automatic live tracking device. AirDog was launched on Kickstarter with a $200,000 goal, and the Kickstarter campaign hit $1,136,177 -- and the first units are slated to ship this month. But think about it -- while these devices seem harmless in the desert, what happens when every kid on a high school track team has his or her own follow drone? What about using the AirDog to track your spouse or some other person who's location and activities you'd like to keep an eye on? Will UPS or FedEx FDX -1.54% have autonomous surveillance drones following their delivery trucks? Once we accept that fact that we live in a selfie society, the line between self-photography and surveillance is hard to define.

There's no doubt we're all fans of sharing great moments with stills and video. From Instagram to SnapChat, from Vine to Meercat to Periscope, the trend toward sharing outlives in public and private forums shows now signs of slowing down. But once we sign up to be part of the new selfie society, we've unleashed a sharing phenomenon that is like to have unpredictable consequences.

Steven Rosenbaum is serial entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker. His latest book, Curate This! is in print and ebook on He is the CEO of (