The term ‘Selfie’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a photo that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam shared via social media”. These photos are an increasingly popular form of self expression and form part of our identity, which “arises out of our interactions with other people” (Fell, 2016).
In order to generate a lot of ‘likes” on a Selfie it is important to do the following: utilise your heads most flattering angle, determine the locations best lighting, find the perfect filter and my personal favourite take 100 of the same photo in order to give yourself options for the perfect upload.
It appears that now we determine our social status by Instagram likes. Our social status reveals “ one’s value and importance in the eyes of the world” (Botton, cited in Marwick 2013, p.74). Everyday the internet gets bigger and social media does not sleep as its absolutely everywhere we look and routine in our every day lives . Sometimes our insecurities are subtler and we don’t realise that now our hearts beat a little bit faster after checking our un-liked photos after 1 minute or seeing our number of followers decrease. We begin to feel a sudden rush of anxiety and question whether or not it was the right time to upload, could I have used a better filter, and was my hashtag not witty enough?. These questions are now followed by deletion of the selfie capturing where we are in that moment, which was ultimately what the application was created. However, now we choose carefully and wisely about what kind of selfie we upload and when we upload to strive for Internet fame, which we so often tend to confuse with real world significance. So, what does this mean?
There is a growing concern that the Selfie culture depicts a self absorbed an narcissistic culture. I am a 21 year old who like most people my age loves going out and loves my social networking sites. It was funny when I thought about whether it makes us self – absorbed all I could think of is what I hear when my Mum catches me taking Selfies and it’s always “God, you love yourself!”.
It was interesting for to come across an article discussing the link between selfies and mental disorders. People would now do anything for the perfect selfie. Dr Philip Miller is a well known cosmetic surgeon in New York and states that he has experienced a “radical boom” due to the intense distortion of one’s physical image and one’s self- esteem. But it doesn’t just stop there. What I found even more fascinating and extremely disturbing was that people around the world are now risking their lives in order to get the perfect Selfie and scarily in a considerable amount of instances dying.
As much as we would all love to capture an amazing selfie doing something out of the ordinary, putting yourself in a dangerous situation to receive “likes” of complete strangers In order to boost your self-esteem really puts the current concerns into perspective.
Although posting selfies regularly reflects society’s current concerns of a self – absorbed narcissist culture, we need to also keep in mind that selfies and image based forms of communication in fact reflect an empowered culture.