Are you sick of reading about selfies? Everyone would already know what a selfie is. But what precisely is a selfie? A selfie is a photographic object that initiates the transmission of human feeling in the form of a relationship between photographer and photographed, between image and filtering software, between viewer and viewed, between individual circulating images, between users and social software architectures, etc (Senft, 2015). A selfie is also a practice – a gesture that can send different messages to different individuals, communities, and audiences (Senft, 2015).
A picture is posted on various of social media platforms, why has this simple action created such a dramatic impact?
What People Say:
Like with the rise of any new trend, there are many who also opposes it, the same goes for selfies. People have come to the conclusion that there can be negative side-effects to a selfie. The most common attribute about a selfie is that it is a form of narcissism (Senft, 2015). One use of selfies is to help promote oneself (Connolly, 2015). I believe society has adopted this as an acceptable narcissism, because everyone can take a selfie, it’s an amateur work, there is no need to buy DSLR to click it. What you need is a smartphone only and there it is. It’s such a simple act and with our smartphones we can click as many photos as we desire and if it’s not satisfactory. Delete it and try again.
Most obvious reason behind this thread is the appraisal user receives from their photos. Having one of your selfies liked by people can mean many things. One reason could be that you look hot in it (Riordon, 2017). That gives a boost in people’s self-esteem. You could only imagine what happens if the photo gets 100,000 likes. That could mean that a lot of the people out there thinks that you are hot.
Other Side of the Coin:
A selfie can have also have different kind of benefits. One of it is to embrace and realise self-beauty. According to Riordon (2017) having a selfie of yourself can make you feel more confident. It is important to accept and love the person you are and let go off what the media think beauty is. Selfies can help you record your progress. For example, a lot of people would take a selfie of themselves as they are about to take part in a long journey of getting fit, going bald to growing out hair or clearing up acne by going on a 6-9 month of Accutane Medication. Seeing the progress after the desired goal is accomplished makes you feel good. As this shows that if you set your mind to something and if you really want to achieve it than nothing can stop you. Journey of an individual person can help inspire a lot of people and it can even be used to re-enlighten the hope inside of them. If you post it on social media, other people might start following your steps. Isn’t it amazing?
The Self-Branding/Promotion Phase
Selfie craze has grown a lot because of the modern technology. We have so many different kinds of app where we can create our accounts and promote ourselves on. According to Connolly (2015) Instagram officially made it possible and allow us to promote ourselves with no shame. It also provides useful tools for editing and to make oneself look even better. Filters, lighting and colour edits can redefine the users’ pictures. Snapchat also encourages people in taking selfies through filters they have. Snapchat have special filters for different location and for events. For example, if people want others to know that they are actually here they can use to filter along with the selfie they are going to take. Selfies are also used to show you support toward something. Snapchat had a special star war filter when the latest start war film was being released to go with it. People would pose with it and add it on their snapchat story or save it to their photo gallery and post it on some other social media platform.
Snapchat filters usage and insertion of location:
Law and Selfie Ban
As we can see that selfies have taken over by storm, some countries has even taken it into law consideration. Some states in America, have made it law that people cannot take ballot selfies. The ruling is justified by saying that they don’t want voters to be pressured or influenced by selfies (Wagman, 2016). Other countries have taken different measures regarding selfies. In Saudi Arabia, the holy place Mecca doesn’t allow people to take selfies as they believe it affects the prayers ritual and it causes distraction to others (Fox News, 2015). In Pamplona, Spain the tourists are banned from taking selfies during the annual Running of the Bulls festival, because some people would actually risk being gored to death if it means they could get the perfect selfie (Fox News, 2015)
Overall selfies has become a trend in our generation. There are a lot of layers to look at, some believes that selfies can transform us into narcissistic. Some believe that selfies allow us to regain self-love and motivate ourselves. Selfies are also redefining marketing, because campaigns can be built around selfies. This way people can contribute themselves into some kind of cause. There are still many different angles a selfie can be looked as, it’s a great opportunity to explore ‘empowerment’, to rethink ‘feminism’ and to debate the pros & cons of turning ourselves into a BRAND. Who knows in the future the selfies will evolve even furthers and include augmented reality in it.
Khan Sultana Nazish
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.