A #Selfie Epidemic

Take a look around the next time you visit a touristy venue, beyond the medley of languages, fashion and ambient energy of leisure you’ll undoubtedly see the rise of the #selfie epidemic.

SAFRICA-MANDELA-MEMORIAL<photo credit: Getty Images>

If someone had pitched a selfie extender to me just two years ago, I would have politely given a “we are simply not allocating in that space” whilst pondering who I would enthusiastically mock the product with over happy hour.

Today, I extend (respectfully) the term “selfie culture” to include all amateur photography destined for one’s social media networks.

The cultural spread of this absolutely fascinates me.

Why?

Why does it unnerve me?

Narcissism and validation, I frequently hear those words used in the answers.

Does our life hold only as much meaning as can be shown?

“Sharing our life” with friends and strangers is a vicious cycle. The more we feed it the more we want to feed it. Validation becomes more and more important, we begin to live experiencing the emotions we selectively choose to engage in (and are much more at the effect of those we selectively choose to avoid).

In the late 90s, walking about Japan’s metropolitan centers, one notices women and youths photographing everything, publicly. I found it curious. I watched the world go from photographing the world’s wonders (recall the days when tourists actually setup tripods in front of the pyramids? Yes because a single shot likely took too patience to hold in place) to photographing oneself in front of Niagara falls to a group of friends asking the favour from the waitress to get a group shot of a school reunion to a studious young man unbothered by the public as he takes headshots of himself, solo, by iphone, at a starbucks table.

I too have come to the party, late as always (to any fad). As I pull out my phone at the restaurant I think excitedly of posting these photos of my charcuterie plate or the glass of wine I chose.

There’s that gnawing feeling of — Why?

I find myself (frequently actually) in an uncomfortable “limbo” where I often times think I should certainly throw myself into the game (as my “friends” various platforms have 99x more material than I to “share”) and if I should simply abstain as it doesn’t comes easily to my daily patterns and I have a challenging time figuring out how it connects to my ultimate ambitions.

Yes, every action is only “green lit” when it fits into my ultimate ambitions (what it means to live a life I want, simply that). The actions are simple really, and small — long showers (maybe twice a day) produce a brighter, more pleasant mood for myself and therefore those around me, taking time for “play” such as a vacation or mini-breaks every couple of months allows for completely exposure into a new environment, new moods, new thinking is produced and new conversations with loved ones that would not likely occur otherwise, and etc.

Naturally I could argue this is a great way of maintaining and opening oneself to ones family and friends, keeping “alive” for those around given the public is already on the boat and sailed halfway across the Atlantic. Time to at least tag along.

Perhaps.

I am still unsettled with this.

It appears, if a tree falls in the woods we care how it was documented and shared by whom. –Generation Z

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