Stop the selfies—please!

selfie

THE selfie – defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” — has become a modern-day plague. I’m over it.

Yes, I do like connecting with friends and acquaintances on social media. And Yes, I do like to see how you look occasionally.

But they keyword here is occasionally. Not three times a day.

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013 is “selfie.” It just edged out “twerk”.

The word “selfie” was apparently first used in 2002, in an Australian online forum. The ABC Online posting said: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

Am I alone in detesting all those self portraits some people post on social media sites? You know, the narcissistic unimaginative staring-into-the-camera selfies. Or the barrage of young girls holding out cameras at arm’s length to capture the kissy face.

There’s even an app for people wanting to look better in their selfies. It’s called facetune.

And now there’s something called “Vines” – which are six-second selfie videos.

There should be a law against it.

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13 thoughts on “Stop the selfies—please!

  1. I agree! 😆

    On a serious note though, it appears that narcissism is a growing and frightening malady in our western society.

    The Narcissistic Plague
    By Ashley Fern

    “In the world of a technological revolution, narcissism is everywhere. Young adults flaunt it on Facebook and Instagram and celebrities make a living off it. This is a culturally conditioned epidemic of pathological self-concern. All day long we think about what we like, what we want, what we don’t like, and what we don’t want; we’re always looking at situations that garner the most self-rewards. This makes us inherently selfish because all we care about is what we are going to get out of any situation.

    Many people have narcissistic tendencies instilled in them at an early age. How many times has a parent or teacher told you how special you were without having achieved anything? When young people fail at something, reminding them they are special is not constructive. There is a need for honesty to show these people that they should be trying harder.

    Children and young adults need to be raised in a more realistic sense. Promoting a false sense of entitlement will push narcissistic levels through the roof. Why do organizations give out trophies for participation? To make everyone feel special, although this may seem like a good idea, it is inherently problematic. This offers people a false sense of entitlement they will carry with them in a variety of situations.

    People suffering from this condition react to insults with anger and aggression. They become defensive and refuse to take responsibility for their shortcomings because who are you to treat them as anything less than what they think they are. This type of behavior is frequently seen in the outlandish behavior of celebrities. Just take a look at Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. #winning? I think not.

    A materialistic approach to life and people will only result in depression. How can you truly achieve happiness if all you care about is yourself without the concern of others? This is not a personal problem but a cultural problem. Our society breeds this mentality and until there is a conscious effort made, it will not be stopped.

    It is important to think and understand your own nature and what you desire from life, but it’s essential to understand that your actions are inextricably entangled with those of others around the world. It’s not intrinsically narcissistic to think about oneself, but it is narcissistic to think about oneself with the context of others around us removed and in disproportion.

    Self-infatuation is a plague that is corroding the core beliefs of society. This is a psychological disease promoted by the shallow nature of our culture. The only way out of this psychological prison is to make a true committed effort. Once you awaken to the reality of it, you become free; you escape the fears and desires that your own ego trapped you into believing.

    These aspects became the detrimental narrative that formed your relationship to life and that needs to be rectified. The issue is not to get people to disregard themselves, but to get people to consider others at least equally as much as they think about themselves.”

    Elite Daily com.

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  2. They could be self obsessed and vain, wanting to be ‘famous’ amongst their own friends and family.

    They could be lacking self confidence and wanting to be ‘loved’ in some weird way. Calling out for attention.

    They could be sheep, who just follow whatever popular culture dictates and popular culture seems to be all about self.

    I think many times people who take constant selfies are trying to present themselves as having a life they don’t actually have. One of spontaneity, fun and happiness. They are trying to create an alternate cyber life.

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    • Yep! Precisely! —> “I think many times people who take constant selfies are trying to present themselves as having a life they don’t actually have. One of spontaneity, fun and happiness. They are trying to create an alternate cyber life.”

      …and I think you’re quite right.
      And I also think that’s because the modern world has robbed the young of every other avenue of “spontaneity, fun and happiness.” that ever existed.

      Today’s youth can’t even (generally) practise that age-old rite of passage and ‘rebel against the established authority’, because the REAL established ‘authority’ lies not in the trappings of a monarch or pope or parent, but in the very cyberspace that permeates every young person’s most essential being.

      How do you take to the streets ~ or take up arms ~ against Centrelink, a computer-based Police-State, or parents who have so completely lost control ~ thanks to the very same IT/PC/etc world ~ that they’ve given up hope ~ and pass on their depression at being dehumanised to their kids?

      I can remember spending the best part of five years learning the ins-and-outs of a girl’s knickers ~ and another ten years trying to make sense of it all! ~ and another few decades enjoying what I, personally, had DISCOVERED, investing a part of my life in something that became a part of my life, and was cherished BECAUSE it was an investment I’D made.
      …..and ‘Fuck’ was a word that could still make one blush in one’s mid-teens.

      These days sex-‘EDUCATION’ begins at about age five or six.
      …..so what do we do between the ages of 7 and 25???… Is there ANYthing that would really be worthwhile installing into our ‘life-experience’?

      Remember how parents used to drum into us:- “get outside and make your own fun”?
      Mary Howard and I and a few others would go down to the scrub around the Dandenong Creek and play ‘hidey’ for hours…..and no-one ever got ‘found’. 😉
      Or we’d play ‘pirates’ and fight our way onto each other’s bathtubs before they crashed over the ten-foot wall of Bushies Weir.
      Or we’d catch eels, or rabbits, or transient diseases.
      Then they buried the Dande Creek in a pipe 40-foot down, bulldozed the scrub built nuclear-family brick-veneers on the site.

      Where is there for them go these days?
      What constitutes ‘fun’ these days?

      Even the kids of our generations carry some scars of deprivation: of the right to be ourselves ~ and the need to be little animals learning the ropes.

      The kids today have NO hope ~ and I think they’ve even forgotten what Hope is…..and they’re panic-stricken and depressed because of the denial of a billion years’ accumulation of instincts.

      The best they can do is strive not to be rejected and abandoned by their only form of cohesion ~ and the only feeble path to recognition that they DO exist.

      Don’t blame kids. IT’S NEVER THEIR FAULT.

      ….and reread Brave New World: this time ‘with feeling’.

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      • Gosh Dabs,

        Reading your words has made me terribly depressed. LOL, as soon as I had finished reading your post, the song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” by Peter, Paul and Mary popped into my head. 🙂

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      • They’ve been….er, ‘deflowered’ Mon ~ factually and figuratively.

        And I do feel so sorry for today’s young: they’ve got nothing to look forward to and therefore no hope. Nor even any sort of stable and reliable platform from which to launch themselves into their lives; and without a life to call your own you rage and rave for the moment, however irrationally.
        (It’s even evident in churchly circles; eg ‘Hillsong’ and other ‘Doomsday’ cults)

        Little wonder they immerse themselves in the phrenetic behaviour and attitudes of those whose world is crashing down about them.
        It’s a common phenomenon during the collapse or destruction of empires ~ and probably worlds, too.

        ….and was documented in the drunken orgies held in german air-raid shelters while the bombs rained down and the russians were advancing.

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      • Don’t forget Dabs,

        That they have “oldies” in their lives such as parents, grandparents and extended family members; family friends, teachers, Christian Ministers, etc., who do influence them, whether it is apparent or not. Wise counsel will never become extinct.

        My son’s grandmother is his friend on Facebook and even though I do not want to have anything to do with Facebook, and my children have barred me from it too, my Mum lets the cat out of the bag at times to tell me what he’s been up to and I can assure you that he will never be too old to be set straight by his Mum! 🙂

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    • So they are too world wise and have lost their innocence and that is why they don’t really look forward to anything other than themselves?

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  3. Another strange phenomenon on sites like Facebook are the people who talk about and take pictures of everything they do i.e. here is a picture of what I ate tonight.

    I know of someone who recently admitted that she has very little self esteem and who does this. Makes me sad actually.

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  4. Interesting but I remember decades ago people hated having their photo taken unless they looked their best.

    As a meme I saw once suggested. Now a person will take more photos in the bathroom than the first men took on the moon.

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    • I am one who seldom looks in the mirror, doesn’t wear make-up, and often unaware of how neglected I look – until someone takes a photo of me! These days, as Dom says, we don’t get a chance to tidy up first.

      So I am guilty of preparing myself better and taking a selfie in the bathroom mirror. Didn’t work out too well, so I’m not a repeat offender!

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  5. Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!

    Like

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