According to the Urban Dictionary (yes, there is such a thing), a selfie is: ‘A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website.’
An alternative description could be: “Self-absorbed, totally unnecessary and often poorly focused snapshot taken with the primary intention of posting on social network sites, for no particular reason at all.”
The BBC has recently released an article, looking at the science behind selfies, explaining that ‘people generally have an image of themselves that tends to be younger and more attractive than we really are. This has led to an obsession with selfies, for the first time ever we are able to take and retake pictures of ourselves until we can produce an image that comes closer to matching our perception of what we think we look like.’
Ok. So let’s just think about that for a second.
Just because you are able to do something, it does not mean that you really should. Selfies are the perfect example of this. I suppose it does show a certain amount of confidence, and possibly a little narcissism, to post self-portraits on the Internet, knowing that others are able to comment on them. However, if they are being Photoshopped to death and then shared in the vain hope of gaining ‘likes’ then I think you may have a deeper issue that needs addressing…
I have spent many an evening ‘untagging’ myself from pictures I would rather never saw the light of day, let alone want anyone to comment on. *Is it untagging or detagging – has anyone officially decided on what we are calling this yet?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally against the odd self-portrait; I even took one once, of me and my Grandma on her 90th birthday. The result was an unflattering, blurred picture of me looking ten years older than my actual age, highlighting every blemish, pimple and stray hair, and my Grandma looking terrified, staring into camera like a rabbit in proverbial headlights.
There are just so many of them that it’s driven me to a severe state of SOS….(Sick Of Selfies). Just once I want to be able to log onto Facebook without being bombarded with countless selfies, from, ‘I am wearing bikini in winter and then taking pics in the mirror for no reason’ to the more common and disturbing, ‘look at me pulling a duck face at various locations throughout the day’…..yes, you know who you are.
I’m not alone in my despair of this alleged nit-spreading, self-loving obsession sweeping the country. Selfies made an appearance in The Independent’s list of ’50 things we hate about modern life’ – coming in at an unsurprising number six, not quite as annoying as self service check outs but considerably more disliked than the entity known as Gangnam Style (which, for the record, came in at number 22).
Every man and his dog has access to some kind of device these days, and the capacity to take pictures of some amazing things and sharing them with the world online within seconds. Sadly, looking at some of the selfies floating around it would appear that, for some people, the dog would actually be able to take a better picture than they clearly can.
Who was it that decided to, rather than focusing the camera on the wonders of nature or the joy of capturing a special moment, it would be a much better idea to take a picture of yourself looking ridiculous – and then share it all over the internet like some kind of crazed cyber-egotist?
The number of selfies popping up is mind-blowing; over 17 million selfies are uploaded to social media every week and it’s not just the teenagers who are adding to these figures either.
It would be nice to blame the youth for such nonsense, writing it off as a faddy craze but, while they may have started it, they are certainly not the only ones keeping this strange new tradition alive and growing at epidemic proportions.
The first ever selfie was taken in 1914, by the then thirteen-year-old, Russian Duchess, Anastasia Romanov. I’m sure she had no idea just what she had started that day as she stood on a chair and took a picture of herself using a Brownie box camera. Anastasia later sent it to a friend saying: “I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard and my hands were trembling.”
These days the over-55s are taking more selfies than the 18 to 24-year-olds, with one in six admitting to regularly taking one. My own great-aunt Enid is one of these OSOs (Older Selfie Offenders), she’s been known to post the same selfie over a dozen times within a minute. It seems that while she struggles with the concept of press and wait while uploading, she is, however, a dab hand at the ‘art of selfie’- often striking her own version of the duck face pose. Bless her puckered lips…
Turns out there are even a number of websites and Youtube videos offering tips on how to achieve the ‘perfect selfie’, while over on Twitter, ‘self-confessed-selfie-fan’ Kim Kardashian regularly tweets advice to her millions of followers, before getting distracted by her own reflection…
Seems that the selfie is here to stay and, love it or hate it there isn’t much us selfie-phobes can do about it – other than ignore them and hope they go away…
Several of my friends, who shall remain anonymous, are serial selfie-offenders and it drives me crazy. One in particular has even been known to post the same picture several times using different filters. I kid you not…
I will leave you with quite possibly one of the most annoying songs ever released, I predict this appearing in next years list of major irritations…..