Combative, provocative and engaging debate on the topic of the selfie culture. Chaired by Michael Buerk with Matthew Taylor, Giles Fraser, Anne McElvoy and Claire Fox.
The wobbly mobile phone footage and someone calling out "you ain't no Muslim bruv" has given us a powerful rallying cry. It was filmed by a bystander as police restrained a man who's since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. What it doesn't show is how one very brave man fought to try and disarm the attacker, while people stood around filming it all on their phones. Mobile phone footage has now become a staple of our news and not so private lives. Which one of us hasn't clicked on a link and experienced a vicarious thrill from watching the latest talked about clip of death, disaster or embarrassment? It is undeniably useful too, but what are the moral consequences of videoing and displaying everything in public? Does looking through the prism of a phone camera create a kind of moral distance that atrophies human capacities like empathy, compassion and self--reflection? The instinct to say 'I was there' is immensely strong, but earlier this year there were a number of cases bystanders filming distressed people as they threatened to jump to their deaths. Are we trying to give life meaning by creating a permanent record of it, instead of by thinking more deeply about it and living life in the moment? Is the craze for selfies just a harmless piece of fun or are we gradually being infected with a narcissistic personality disorder? Or is the drive to record everything and to make our lives public, part of what makes us human? And mobile phone footage is just today's equivalent of ancient cave paintings of hunting scenes? Live our life on film - the Moral Maze. Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk with Matthew Taylor, Giles Fraser, Anne McElvoy and Claire Fox. Witnesses are Madeleine Bunting, Jane Finnis, James Temperton and Justine Hardy.