- Politics and Social Issues
Look, there’s a lot of selfie hate out there. I’m not here to add to that, but merely to analyze it. I fully admit that if I were in my late teens/early 20s right now, who knows what ridiculous stuff I’d be posting online. But, I’m not. I’m 37 and all the dumb stuff I did in my early 20s is only immortalized in the sweet, hazy memories of me and my friends, with the exception of a few kodaks still hanging around.
Even if I was still a young thing, I probably wouldn’t be taking that many selfies or posting pics of myself. I’ve never been a big fan of posing for pictures or just having my picture taken in general (this would explain why my brief modeling career never took off). I’ve taken selfies. Most of my friends have too. My mom has taken a selfie. They are just a normal part of life now. Some folks are just more apt to post pictures of themselves than others. Some folks seem really, really apt to post pictures of themselves. You’ve probably seen some of these Instagram or Facebook profiles where it’s basically an endless stream of...them - selfies, vines or otherwise! From my own non-scientific observations, it seems to be more women than men who partake in this sort of thing. And the age of a selfie addict skews pretty young. But there are certainly exceptions to this. No one is above the sefie addiction.
So are they after the attention they receive from it? Or do they want to feel like a minor celebrity to boost their egos? Perhaps these souls simply like to share their world with their friends. Maybe selfies are their honest to goodness attempt at expressing themselves. With the rapid advancement of technology in the last couple decades, when a cultural phenomenon like this pops up, I always ask myself if there was a old-timey equivalent (pardon the fancy jargon). For instance, remember Glamour Shots? It was that photo studio in the mall where you could go get dolled up to get your picture taken? That was somewhat the equivalent of the selfie craze as its sole purpose was to make you feel like a celebrity and show off how good you can look. The major difference, of course, is the convenience of a selfie. As we all know, you can take them anytime, ANY place and for free.
I am not here to deem the selfie-culture good or bad. I’m tempted to use the N-word here, but I won’t. Any of us who use social media can be considered narcissists. We’re publishing personal things because we want others to admire us in some way. So I don’t think of the selfie obsessed as any more narcissistic than the rest of us. Some may be. And some are just adolescents and if you look up adolescence in the dictionary, narcissism is surely listed. So is the typical selfie over-taker just extroverted? I would argue the opposite. People that post a lot of pics of themselves may be quite shy or have low self-esteem and use selfies as a way to gain approval. Typically when someone posts a pic of themselves, there’s a slew of followers who will “like” it or comment on how great they look. That sort of attention can become addictive if you use it to validate your self-worth.
That brings me to my next point: The selfie addiction can make you look desperate for attention. And that’s why a lot of people look down upon selfies. It reminds us of Kim Kardashian and we all know what we think about her. Kim K. not only seems desperate for attention, but she seeks it through objectifying her body. Yeah, as a woman and a human, I take issue with the fact that Kim K. has used sex and her body to become this huge, monster celebrity. It’s gross. It’s not gross because of what she’s done specifically. It’s gross because our pop culture has eaten it up. She’s a household name for all the wrong reasons. That’s not her fault. It’s ours.
This Kim K. aspect is exactly what I find troubling about selfie-centeredness. We can all agree that selfies are a normal part of life and social media now. Some people just take it a step too far and they most likely are seeking attention and approval. I don’t know if Kim Kardashian is maturing into a spiritually whole person or not. Is she still seeking constant validation from the media or just paying her bills at this point? However, the average person will not make a career out of posting videos or pics of themselves. I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to be filling any holes in their souls either. #nofilter