A recent trend that has recently become a full blown phenomenon is the act of taking self-portraits with camera phones and then sharing them with the internet using various social media platforms. These are better known as ‘selfies.’
The only qualification for a picture to be a selfie is that the person taking the photo MUST be in the photo. So, let’s say Susan is out with friends and having a great time. She decides to commemorate this brilliant evening with a photo of her and the girls. If she asks a bartender, waiter, or stranger to take the picture it is not a selfie. If they all squeeze together and Susan uses her incredibly long arms to take a great picture, it is a selfie. Then when she shares the selfie with the internet (caption: GREAT NIGHT WITH THE BESTS) it is now available for anyone to see.
The selfie does, however, raise certain qualms with most of the people in light of the whole ‘Anthony Wiener/Carlos Danger’ debacle. One woman from Brooklyn said, “There’s nothing wrong with it, but no one wants to look at their phone and see a **** in their phone.” Many of the other people I spoke with around Brooklyn shared the same sentiment.
I see selfies as a great thing. Selfies give all of the power of the portrait to the person taking it. There is no possibility of a bad photo ruined by blinking, sneezing, fidgeting, revealed genitalia, or photo bombers. The power of re-doing a selfie is what makes them so popular. You can take a picture of yourself and if you decide that your face looks too broken-out or oily you can delete it and do it again.
Imagine how the great painters would probably have liked to use Instagram instead of a canvas. I imagine that Monet’s Instagram feed would have been much easier to enjoy when you put your phone on the other side of the room and then proceeded to squint your eyes a bit. Maybe even tilt your head to the side a bit.
Selfies are made to be shared. Whether it be shared with the internet on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, even Myspace (happy belated 10th Tom!) or just shared with friends in a group chat or an email. Sharing selfies is what’s important about them.
I take a lot of selfies because I think I’m a very pretty dude and want everyone else to see how pretty I am (read: vain). I am very pro-selfie. I can also measure how good I feel about myself, inside and out, based on how many photos of myself I am posting.
The future of selfies is unclear. It may wither and die like planking did (thank God) or maybe it will die out until a full blown revival comes along like, for example, how everyone needs vinyl (I know it sounds better, but also, there’s the internet for that).
I think selfies are here to stay. They have invaded every platform of our social media preferences and even take precedence over Instagrams of food! Something tells me the next stage of evolution for humanity is a longer, dominant arm to usher in the next level of selfies.