In this world of conceit and self-importance, there is nothing more spectacular than the “selfie.” Selfie is defined as a “photo taken of a person by that same person.” If you’ve ever been on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other overindulged social network, you’ve been “treated” to hoards and hoards of selfies. The selfie is usually taken by a person in a situation where they want to prove they were there, but want to get in the picture. It’s also taken by people who just like posting photos of themselves. The selfie craze has spawned a whole market for selfie-related paraphernalia, caused at least one death and even led to a hit song!!
Selfies used to be the tool of the Internet daters. These people would go in the bathroom, and shoot a photo of themselves in the mirror. This was to post a photo of themselves on the dating websites so their intended dates could see what they looked like. The selfies of the early internet were just this. Most people used the mirror because they used real cameras, that only had screens in the back. Selfies have morphed into a way to “one-up” your friends and enemies. Selfies are usually taken when the subject is in a fun place, or doing something different, or with someone they want others to know about. People have become so obsessed with getting the perfect selfie and going above and beyond the normal photo of yourself just standing there that it even led to one death. A young man was apparently trying to take ever more exciting selfies, and accidentally shot himself with the loaded gun he was using in his selfie (story here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/selfie-obsessed-vet-shoots-himself-head-3967140). People use selfies today like we used to use matchbook covers or refrigerator magnets in the past; to show off where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.
The selfie phenomenon has created a burgeoning industry of selfie-related products. One such product is the “selfie stick.” Selfie sticks are designed to hold a camera or mobile phone at a distance away from the selfie subject so they do not have their arm in the photo. It also makes it possible to take a “selfie” of many people at the same time. The “group selfie” is becoming ever more popular with the advent of the selfie stick. This is actually something nice, as everyone can get into the photo instead of the picture-taker having to be absent.
I have also seen a mirror that is attachable to cameras and phones so people can see the screen in the back while taking a photo of themselves in the front. There are countless mobile apps now that can make your photos look old fashioned, softer, black and white, cartoon, etc. The selfie is big business. In the technology mall, Sim Lim Square, this weekend, I saw hundreds and hundreds of selfie sticks and other selfie-related material. All so people can take more and more stupid photos of themselves.
I blame celebrities, mainly, for the popularity of the selfie. There are too many celebrities who have discovered selfies as a method of self-promotion. Mainly younger, less mature celebrities are the ones that overload the media with their selfies, but others have been known to do it as well. Here’s a list of just a few of the celebrities that popped up when I typed “celebrity selfies” into Google: Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Nikki Minaj, Ryan Seacrest, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus, Zoe Deschanel, Hugh Jackman, Selina Gomez, Simon Cowell, Britney Spears and Prince William of England. However, nobody appears more than singer, Rihanna. She, apparently, tweets selfies of herself 24 hours a day. There are droves and droves of selfies of Rihanna, which has led to her being crowned the selfie queen (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/10967825/How-Rihanna-became-queen-of-the-selfie.html). This is just shameless self-promotion for the celebrities who have found yet another way to put their faces in front of people more often.
Selfies are nice, once in a while. Private selfies can be fun to send to your friends and loved ones through text message or on WhatsApp. Facebook profiles have a profile photo, which is usually a selfie. There are some good uses for the self-taken photograph. However, most people that post selfies are using it for self-aggrandizement and shameless self-promotion. There is no need for people, like Rihanna, to constantly tweet selfies of themselves every second of the day. It’s becoming ridiculous when I go to Facebook, or even just open up Google or a news page and see selfies (both celebrity and common people) over and over again. You are not that interesting that we need to see you in every place and doing everything you possibly could do! Take one or two a week at the most….or at least….don’t post them all!