Rare is the request these days from the errant traveling couple “can you please take our photo?” We’ve become a world of accomplished selfie takers. Taylor Swift reportedly commented recently that no one asks for her autograph anymore. A selfie request is the new signature.
To say that snapping selfies is a new phenomenon is like saying handheld devices are popular. Yes sure, we’ve taken photographs of ourselves since cameras were invented and self-portraits painted for thousands of years. But in just the last few, we are witnessing a self-image revolution.
A certain level of self-promotion is wired into our DNA. Nonetheless, the ingredients of the internet, the allure of social media, and functionality of handheld devices with high-end cameras have created a selfie-taking boom that is only beginning to mushroom. Add to that the intoxicating desire for more, created by the instant feedback loop, and a large segment of humans have evolved to camera loving image specialists. We are closing in on a world population of almost 8 billion people saying with frequency, “look at me.”
For every web article declaring that this recent self-photo rage is detrimental, there is an equal number arguing that imbibing in the act of frequent self-posing is healthy. Smart people also disagree whether eating saturated fat is bad or good. Like the eating fat argument, the health effects of selfie-taking is more complex than a blanket good/bad statement. The wellness of a self-obsessed mindset may depend on the individual and the selfie purpose. Narcissistic behavior to one is helpful self-branding and a networking tool to another.
Selfies, both the art of taking them and the frequency, will only continue to grow on its current exponential track, so why not get cozy with them.
Since there is no such thing as the ‘present moment,’ photos, especially a selfie, is the best example of us at a point in time. So we might as well live for the moment and snap away. We will then be able to review beaucoup selfies with proof that those moments (many, many, moments), actually existed. Then, when we have ample future downtime, we’ll be able to sift through the stockpile to recall those fleeting micro-seconds.
The Plandid — The planned-candid selfie.