A “selfie,” for the uninitiated, is a “self-portrait photograph.” This seemingly innocuous, yet somehow ire-inspiring, social phenomenon/trend shows no signs of reversing: estimates range from over one million selfies a day to 93 million selfies taken everyday worldwide.
While selfies are generally held as an indicator of “millennial narcissism,” it’s always fun and interesting to see the “purpose-driven selfie” or how people use this particular format for self-expression as a tool for a larger purpose.
Selfies for Science:
- I Only Posted Selfies on IG For a Week and Selfie-steem: What I learned after Two Weeks without Selfies : 2 selfie self-experiments
Selfies for Art:
Selfies for… uh… Simian Rights?
Support your Library with a Shelfie:
A “shelfie” is a picture of your bookshelf or a picture of yourself with a bookshelf, say… at your public library, for example!
And sometimes sad to see the consequences of selfies-gone wrong, as in the case of an Instagram (IG) Model whose selfie-obsessed lifestyle was making her miserable. Essena didn’t just delete her social media accounts and shrink from the internet (at least not initially – Essena O’Neill Quits the Internet Once & For All); she was inspired to take a stand and reveal the truth— seeing shouldn’t be believing. Those people who always take perfect selfies of their perfect lives? They probably spend tons of time (and storage space on their phones) getting that one, perfect picture. And that quest for perfection takes its toll.
Selfies Gone Wrong:
- Kim Kardashian’s Instagram selfie promoting morning sickness drug Diclegis outrages FDA
- Miss Universe Selfie Sparks Controversy
- and who could forget President Obama’s Funeral Selfie
I don’t think the whole selfie-situation is an indictment on millennials. While technically a millennial myself, I wasn’t born with a smartphone in my tiny, toddler hands. But I do remember a fascination with photo booths and tables/kiosks where you could get t-shirts and hanging wall calendars with your photo printed on them. Those little photo-strips (multiple pictures of yourself in slightly varied poses) could even be found in my dad’s, who is firmly in baby boomer territory, photo album. “Selfies” are a cheaper, easier extension of that, so it seems unsurprising that selfies have exploded. We’ve always been self-obsessed— now it’s just easier than ever!
Advice for selfies? Like anything else: think twice, do once— once a day, tops!
What are your thoughts on selfies? Is it an exercise in narcissism? Have you seen or undertaken any cool or inspiring projects using selfies?