Selfies. Engagement. Follower ratio. Digital footprint. Previously reserved exclusively for the blogger set, self-marketing terminology has become an essential part of our daily vernacular. Admit it: How many times have you gone somewhere “just for the picture,” or made your friends reenact a fun moment so you could capture it in better lighting? And for those of us who feel kind of awkward posting that new Loewe bag on Instagram, there is now Snapchat, where shameless self-promotion can be subdued via a few cleverly placed emojis! In the moments that we aren’t posting, we are watching (read: stalking), observing, and building a bizarre viral fascination with people we have never met in person. While I understand that this is the name of the game, it occasionally scares me when my New York friends know what color Gucci loafers Chiara Ferragni has in her closet. This is a phenomenon I never really encountered in my years of living in Paris. And so I wondered: Is it just that I never noticed, or is it possible that our social media epidemic somehow bypassed the trend-resilient French, kind of like ’80s fitness-mania and athleisure?
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