Monday, 29 September 2014

The Conundrum of the Selfie

I don't get it. 

I mean I do it and I still don't understand it..

Why do people take selfies? What is the purpose of these impertinently recurrent, generally-devoid-of-meaning photographs? They inundate social media websites and consume the albums on iPods and iPhones and iPads and every technological device commonly held in the hands of today's younger generations.They're annoying, filtered, self-esteem-damaging and seem to drain meaning out of everything. But perhaps I'm being melodramatic. Just a bit.

I'll admit that I often indulge in the menial activity, so much so that it actually concerns me somewhat. Yet I'm not entirely sure why.

Probably for attention, but then... you don't always show other people the photos you've taken. In the end seflies tend to generate feelings of insecurity, I've found, and in some cases it becomes some sort of addiction. People take seflies daily as if to prove that they are beautiful and reassure themselves that they meet the superficial standards of the modern day society. Which, in all honesty, is a task/thought process that becomes psychologically impairing.

Why capture a snapshot of a moment by taking a posed picture of yourself? Because regardless of how pretty you are in the photograph, it's not how you would usually look. You're fixing your hair, moving to the side that suits you best and then filtering the photograph to improve your skin.

By all accounts, the picture lacks a certain aspect of real.

To be honest I'd much rather take pictures of the way a vine curls over someone's fence or the dappling light glinting through tall trees late in the afternoon. Or storm clouds moving swiftly across the sky on the way home from school, dipping low and bruising a deep blue.

Honestly, you can look in the mirror anytime and those people who see your selfies on their wall? Already know what you look like. Sometimes there are photos you have to take, to preserve the beauty of a moment of a thing.

But, to quote the new television show Selfie, in taking a selfie to try and capture the moment:

"You think that you're getting it, but you are in fact, missing it." ~ Henry Higgs, Selfie.

Just a thought. Or really, a train of thought that started off strong and then kind of petered off into some semblance of a rant or perhaps a random philosophical debate.


  1. my phone and ig are full of photos of flowers and gardens. my phone doesn't have a front camera though, so it takes about 40 attempts to actually get my face in a shot, let along looking good. I'm with you on the conundrum bit there!

    1. So long anonymity! It as nice while it lasted.... Although I suppose it was a bit too much to ask for in this day and age.
      And yeah, I completely get that - with the taking pictures of gardens and flowers and stuff :)