Our sense of self-image has become highly strung over the last few years.
We need our selfies to be perfect, so that humans of our target gender can see them on Tinder and show them to their friends.
We also need images of ourselves in exotic places, so that anyone passing by on Facebook can admire us and feel bad about themselves.
I blame Apple, of course.
Once it -- and its rivals, I suppose -- turned the phone into a camera that can receive texts, make calls, and let you post your food shots to Instagram, we saw ourselves and our loved ones in our phones all the time.
That's why Apple latest ad for the iPhone XR is so delicious.
No, it's not that it focuses on the phone's camera -- I still think Apple should be selling this phone as the one with the most astonishingly un-Apple battery life.
The beauty here is that not only is Apple mocking how phone-image obsessed we've become, but how Apple itself has contributed.
Here we have two moms. They're cooing over images of their kids. Suddenly, one realizes that her kid has been bokeh'd out of the image.
Is there anything more painful for the contemporary helicopter parent than to see their child blurred out?
"Why do you hate, Jacob?" says the aggrieved mom, bathed in searing pain.
Her friend tries to wriggle. She shows her that unbokehing is just as simple as bokehing.
The damage, though, is surely done.
"What kind of person bokehs a child?" pleads the hurt mom. "I would never bokeh your child."
- How to use portrait mode on the iPhone XS and iPhone XR (CNET)
- How to create 'portrait mode' photos using Adobe Photoshop (TechRepublic)
It's beautifully played and such an accurate view of the human sensibilities that have been wrecked by technology's relentless embrace of human life.
The fact, though, that Apple is happy to pokeh fun out of its bokeh is a charming development.
Who can forget how seriously its EVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller talks about bokeh -- which first emerged in the iPhone 7 Plus -- at Apple events?
Here, Apple seems to be saying: "We've all gone totally bonkers with this self-defining picture-taking nonsense, haven't we?"
Oh, if only Cupertino would now do an ad mocking the painful proliferation of AirPods.