I Don’t Get “Selfies”

This series of pictures was awkward even as a joke for this post.

These pictures were awkward even as a joke for this post.

SELFIE: A photograph taken of yourself with plans to share it either via a social media website, email, text, or otherwise.

Apparently, there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who take selfies and those who do not. I fall into the “does not” category…because I just don’t get it.

As a dedicated Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest contributor, I see a LOT of selfies. I see serious selfies that are made to look as if someone else actually took the picture (“Oh, I didn’t see you there…”). I see fashion-forward selfies of full outfits in the reflection of bedroom or bathroom mirrors (“OMG–look at these super sexy jeans I bought today…do they make my butt look big?”). I see serious selfies that are meant to be sexy and sultry (“I spent two hours putting my makeup on and fixing my hair just to take this picture.”). And, I see selfies that are just meant to be beautiful photos of beautiful YOU. My first thought when I see these selfies come through  various news feeds is simple: I wonder how many pictures they had to take of themselves to get just the right ones to share with the internet world.

Personally, if I’m feeling really cute or spunky or silly and really want to document it for friends to see and there’s no one around to take the picture for me (so it can be a picture of more than just my neck, up), then I have a lot of trouble just smiling for my own camera. I feel the need to make a funny face, strike a silly pose, or usually include my hands in some way (shooting the peace sign or my rendition of “jazz hand”–not hands–as shown here).  In the world of modern technology, I may very well be in the minority here, but following are my personal opinions on the appropriateness of selfies.

There are exceptions to my dislike of “selfies,” however, so here they are in no particular order:

  • If you are experiencing a true once-in-a-lifetime event and you’re the only one there to document it…selfies are OK. For example, if you’re running in New York City’s Central Park and it’s the first time ever and your travelling companion would rather watch pay per view in the hotel room than run, then take a selfie and be proud of this cool milestone!
  • If your loved one is serving in the military and hasn’t seen you in months or years…selfies are OK. Just keep ’em classy 😉
  • If you have an odd rash or mole or otherwise concerning mark on or near your face that you want to document and share with others in order to get an opinion…selfies are OK. For example, “Hey Facebook friends, this spot on the side of my neck wasn’t there a year ago and I can’t really see it very well. What do you think? Is a doctor’s visit in order?”

Times when “selfies” aren’t truly selfies and are actually acceptable in my book:

  • Couples who take pictures of themselves as a couple are often cute. Many times those photos are documenting a fun time together, and although they may not be the highest quality picture (often much too close, usually an extended arm makes the shot, etc.), they’re not meant to hang over the mantle…they’re meant to be fun, so have fun with it!
  • If you want to take a picture of a fun moment with one or more of your kids, that can also be cute…in moderation. I’d personally much rather snap a hundred kids of my kids doing fun things than insert my own head into the picture, but apparently that’s just me. However, if my kids and I are in a seriously goofy mood and are playing around and making faces, that’s when parent/kid selfies are pretty OK with me.

If you must take “selfies,” PLEASE take some of these considerations to heart:

  • If you take a selfie in your bathroom (or in someone else’s bathroom, or in a *gasp* public bathroom) PLEASE put away the feminine products and lower the toilet seat.
  • If you take a selfie in your bedroom, PLEASE think about straightening up a little first.
  • If you take a selfie into a mirror, PLEASE think about 1) what else is being reflected in that mirror besides your super cute outfit, 2) what visible mess can be seen around, behind, along side of the mirror in which you are shooting said look, and 3) first cleaning the mirror!
  • Also, if you must take a selfie into a mirror, PLEASE at least smile at the camera. If your look is so cute or your weight loss is so great that you want to share it–awesome–but get the camera or phone into position, then LOOK UP, SMILE and CLICK 🙂

If you are a selfie photographer, I’d love to understand your thought processes behind your own personal selfies. If you’re not, I’d love to hear some favorite funnies that you’ve seen in selfies. Until then, happy picture taking…either of yourself or others!

Make it a great day,

Marilyn

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