The “selfie”

Go ahead and let the irony wash over you but I don’t understand this culture of oversharing we currently live in. Yep, I’m talking about this in my online personal blog, a link to which I will later tweet and yet that will fall on the minimal amount of sharing side these days. Honestly, this blog, which I’m still not convinced is read by anyone other than my dear mother and mother-in-law, is a place for me to stretch my writing legs. Since I no longer have time to report and write long form stories, this is my outlet. I enjoy the writing process and sharing my thoughts, concerns, joys with you, in words. I tweet because I have to for work. I’m not on facebook like much of humanity and figured I’d better get on some sort of social media to appease my bosses. Of the thousand or so followers, I don’t know how many are actually viewers or just those who follow back anyone. My point, while I at times enjoy sharing, the trend of oversharing makes me uneasy. The photos of food, of self, of how much you ran or ate or what you cooked or the one millionth photo of your face (because really, how many different ways can you take a selfie?) that litter our digital world. Today, Oxford University declared “selfie” as THE word of 2013. Good call you crazy Brits. Nothing defines our current culture of constant sharing more than an awkwardly positioned, often too close, photo of yourself. My lovely daughter, who by the way is one of the more photogenic creatures I’ve ever seen, has hundreds of them. As do her friends. There are people on Twitter whose entire timeline consists of shots of their face, in the car, at home, at the gym, at dinner.. you get the “picture.” You used to drag the old camera out just for vacations, big life events, the ocassional family shot, turn your film in to be developed (true story, kids), and sit in the car and look at the pictures immediately upon picking them up. Our phones and computers have eliminated the wait, the cost of development, and the barriers with whom we share these pictures. Now eveything gets documented. All. The. Time. I will spare you my lame psychoanalysis of the phenomenon. It’s well covered territory anyway. We have become a LOOK AT ME! society with fame just around the corner for anyone who can make the next viral video. If we don’t put ourselves out there, do we even exist? Whoa now. Sorry. I suspect this isn’t going to dissipate but rather accelerate as our devices get faster and the pictures get clearer and the world gets smaller. On the other hand, is it really even worth worrying about at all? I believe a smaller world is a better world. I believe sharing and communicating and seeing all types of people in any and all situations can bring us closer as a human race. You can always just use the phone for calls (GASP!) or unplug for a while or stop contributing to the selfie wasteland yourself if it all seems to be too much. Or maybe, and this is what I plan to do, turn the phone the other way and start looking outside yourself more often.

Favorite selfie – On St. Thomas as hubs and pilot are loading the plane for our short flight to Virgin Gorda

plane selfie

Being photobombed during a selfie by the master herself

red selfie

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2 thoughts on “The “selfie”

  1. This was a great post, Stephanie. I’m not on Facebook at all, and don’t understand the trend to put everything out there. We’re teaching our daughter that it is so not necessary, and we’re hoping that as she gets older, she won’t have a desire to put herself out there. Thank you for an insightful post.

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