Everyone would already know what a selfie is. It’s simple, it’s just a photo you take of yourself using a camera (most commonly using a smartphone). After that, the picture is posted online on varies social media outlets. It is just a simple action but it has caused huge ripples in our society. Why has this simple action created such a dramatic impact?
What They Say
The most common attribute about a selfie is that it is a form of narcissism (Senft, 2015). Selfies are used in a way to help promote oneself (Connolly, 2015). Either with what they are doing or literally promoting themselves to everyone. Our society has adopted this as an acceptable narcissism. I believe the reason behind this is because everyone can take a selfie. Selfies are amateur work, you don’t need to buy a DSLR to take it. All you need is a smartphone and there you have it. The act of a selfie is simple and with our smartphones, we can take as many photos as we like and if it’s not good. Delete it and try again.
Another reason behind this thread is the user’s gratification they receive from their photos. Having one of your selfies liked can mean many things. According to Riordon (2017), one of the reasons why someone likes your photo is because you look hot in it. That gives people a boost in their self-esteem. Imagine what happens when 100,000 people likes your photo. That could mean that many people believe that you are hot.
On the Other Hand
There are also different benefits of a selfie. One of it is to realise self-beauty. Having a selfie of yourself can make you feel more confident (Riordan, 2017). It is important to love yourself for who you are and not get sucked up with what the media think beauty is. Selfies help you to track your own progress. For example, many people would take a selfie of themselves as they are about to take part in a long journey of getting fit. Seeing the progress after the goal is accomplished makes you feel amazing. As it shows that you can do anything once you put your mind to it. It can even be used to help motivate others. If you post a compilation of your progress on social media other people may be moved on what you have done and might end up following your steps.
The Promotion Phase
Modern technology is also a factor in making the selfie craze grow. Now we have so many different app to promote ourselves. Connolly wrote that Instagram has made it possible for us to promote ourselves with no shame (2015). Instagram also provides the user with the necessary editing tools to make them look better. With filters, lighting and colour edits, their picture can be redefined. Another app that we can say that helps promotes ourselve is Tinder. The pictures we use as our displays are normally selfies. I’ve been on the app and I can say almost all profiles I look through has at least one selfie in it.
Snapchat also encourages people in taking selfies through the filters they have. Some are special filters for an event and some are special due to its location. People would want to show others that they are here so using the filter with their selfie is saying “I’m actually here #nojoke”. Selfies are also used to show your support towards something. When the latest starwars film was being released snapchat had a special starwars filter to go with it. People would pose with it and post it on their story or save it to be posted on another platform.
What Is Being Done
Seeing that selfies have taken over by storm some countries has even taken it into consideration into law. In America, some states have made it law that people are not allowed to take ballot selfies. The justification of this ruling is that they do not want voters to be influenced by these selfies (Wagman, 2016). Other countries have taken different measurements regarding selfies. In South Korea, certain selfie sticks are banned due to the Bluetooth signal that causes other devices to malfunction (“Places around the world that have banned selfies”, 2015). In Saudi Arabia, selfies are not allowed in Mecca as they believe it affects the prayers rituals and causes distractions to others (“Places around the world that have banned selfies”, 2015).
Overall selfies have become a unique trend in our generation. There are many layers to look at it. Some believe that selfies are bad as it makes us more narcissistic. Others believe that selfies can be used as self-love and motivation for oneself. Selfies are also redefining marketing as campaigns can be built around selfies. So, that people can contribute themselves into the campaigns cause. There are still many different angles a selfie can be looked as. Who knows maybe in the future selfies will evolve even further and included augmented reality in it.
Connolly, S ,2015, The good, the bad and the ugly: Are selfies turning us all into narcissists?. TheJournal.ie, viewed on 14 March 2017, <http://www.thejournal.ie/selfies-changing-society-1772622-Jan2015/>
Riordan, H , 2017, What It Really Means When He Likes Your Selfies. Bolde, viewed on 14 March 2017, <http://www.bolde.com/really-means-likes-selfies/>
Places around the world that have banned selfies, 2015, Fox News, viewed on 14 March 2017, <://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/01/29/cities-and-countries-that-banor-at-least-frown-upontaking-selfies.html>
Senft, T., & Baym, N. (2015). What Does the Selfie Say? Investigating a Global Phenomenon Introduction. International Journal Of Communication, 91588-1606.
Wagman, E. (2016). BUT FIRST, (DON’T) LET ME TAKE A SELFIE: NEW HAMPSHIRE’S BAN ON BALLOT SELFIES AND FIRST AMENDMENT SCRUTINY. William & Mary Bill Of Rights Journal, 25(1), 343-372.