How the Word “Selfie” has changed us-for the good and the bad

Let’s start with the definition of “selfie.” As defined in the dictionary, the word “selfie” is described as, “a photograph taken with a smartphone or other digital camera by a person who is also in the photograph, especially for posting on a social-media website.” In simple terms, it’s a picture taken of yourself. Selfies have recently become a huge part of social media and they are nearly unavoidable when it comes to scrolling through a news feed.

Here’s why they’re good.

     1. They boost self-confidence

I don’t know about you, but once I hit a total of about 30 likes on a selfie, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. It’s extremely important for anyone to feel comfortable in their own skin and selfies are a way to expose our beauty. Being able to add filters to hide a blemish, make our skin look flawless, and maybe adding a little shine to our smile, certainly helps us feel less insecure.

      2. They make a great profile picture.

Say you’re strolling through Facebook and receive a random friend request from someone you have never seen before. This “selfie” mechanism can instantly provide you with a photo of that person. Also, since people use social media to find romance now a days, you can know instantly whether to “swipe left” or “swipe right”

      3. YOU are the one in control.

We all know those times when we’re tagged in a picture on Facebook and our hair is sticking up, we’re half cross-eyed, or we have a leftover piece of broccoli stuck in our tooth from lunch. Selfies provide us the opportunity to look GOOD, no matter how many filters we are able to use and how bad we really do look without them.

Here’s why they’re bad.

      1. Get over yourself.

There’s always that one person that posts a selfie everyday or, for some, every couple of hours. The opportunity to post a selfie can most definitely be overused. We know what you look like, your selfie’s always look the same, and we all know it’s just for attention.

      2. It makes us EXTRA-confident.

Selfies are great to boost self-confidence but when we’re getting 80-100 likes per picture it makes us want to post more, leading back to the previous advise- GET OVER YOURSELF! While on this topic- I really don’t get why people who post 1-2 selfie’s a day still get 80-1oo likes. I don’t know about you, but it’s slightly despicable to me and makes me want to completely disengage from liking their picture. Anyone else agree?

       3. Life doesn’t revolve around selfies.

No matter how many likes we get on a picture, our life doesn’t change. It doesn’t make anyone understand us more, or learn more about us. It’s a still, lifeless image. I became inspired after reading a blog post titled, “#NoLikesNeeded”-In Which We Talk Screen Time,” published on Jan. 28 2016. Although the author of this post is not named, she goes by her screen name, dearlilyjune. Here’s what she had to say:

“The truth is, the likes you earn from a picture you post on the internet is only a like of your physical image. Not all those who click “like” truly know you, even if you title the photo “soul.jpg.” I want you to want more than superficial groupthink. I want you to know your self-love should way outweigh your selfie esteem. Also, I want you not to want a smart phone or tablet before you turn sixteen. Will I make you a social pariah like that? #Hopefully.”

It’s true! Think of how many likes we get on a picture, and then, think of how many actually know YOU. They are just liking it to be nice, and maybe because we look cute. No one learns anything new about us through a photo; human interaction is more important than liking someone’s selfie, or getting likes, on Instagram, for example.

Dearlilyjune also gives a tragic story of a man, Joshua Burwell, who was using some sort of electronic device to take a picture of a cliff in San Diego. “Seeing his device and not where the cliff ledge ended, Burwell slipped off the edge and plummeted to his death. And that image of the ocean he wanted to share with loved ones and friends–what might his future have been like if he’d only, later, tried to describe it?”

Whether this man was taking a picture of something ahead of him, or taking it of himself, the same scenario could have happened and I’m sure has happened. This makes us think of what a dramatic effect picture taking has had and may continue to have in the future. Once again, life does not revolve around pictures, or selfies!

Selfies can surely have both a positive and negative feel. The important thing to remember here is that we are each our own individuals with thoughts and feelings that go beyond social media. Sometimes, our internet identities go beyond who we truly are. It is important to remember that no one else really cares about how many likes you get on a selfie, but WE do because that’s how technology and selfies has changed us.





One thought on “How the Word “Selfie” has changed us-for the good and the bad

  1. I’m glad I got you thinking, and you certainly made me ponder more on the positives of selfies. I like that idea you bring up that, with a selfie, the photographer is the one in control and that he or she can tailor the picture artistically, so that it becomes more than a record. It becomes an interpretation of the self we want others to see. Thanks for teaching me!


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