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Why is self-consciousness such a exploitable feature of our society? Any ways to living (un)self-consciously?


  1. Not really. It’s a human condition. Though it’s debatable whether or not we’re born into it, it’s certain that we all gain that quality by the time we can conciously think. The media and basic interactions with others are the causes, but like breast cancer, there is no real cure.

  2. Yes, stay unconscious.
    Like most things, balance is key. Self awareness and self consciousness are two sides of one coin, or two ends of one spectrum. I wouldn’t want to be completely unselfconscious. We should be aware of when our flies are down; we should want to check if we have spinach between our teeth. On the other hand, we have to balance that, so that we don’t let insecurities about our appearance and actions rule our lives.

  3. There’s an old saying that “No man is an island.” We need other people — for social reasons, and for co-operating in work-efforts. So, being self-conscious to a degree is helpful — you want to present a friendly, happy version of yourself to society so you can get the help you need.
    But, we do tend to go overboard. Clean teeth are not good enough — we must have ultra-brite, minty-fresh, capped and veneered teeth! If we are too friendly, we’re needy nerds. If we are too stand-offish, we are misanthopic loners. Will the people I need hate me because I’ve got the wrong bag, I use the wrong shampoo, I need to lose 15 pounds? It’s very frightening. Especially because there are some powerful people in our world who do judge by very superficial standards.
    I think the secret is: be the kind of person you’d like to have as a friend and co-worker. If the people around you have different standards, try and understand them, but don’t break your back trying to mold yourself into them. And if the standards are just too bizarre, find a new group of people to be around.


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