**I do not own any of the pictures used in this post.**
Advances in technology have changed the face of the world drastically over the past 20 years. I am 36 years old and when I was in high school the most advanced piece of equipment I had was a pager and our computer at home had AOL dial up. Remember that annoying telephone dial sound? And heaven forbid someone pick up the house phone while you were trying to connect to the internet.
Now there are multiple computers in every home and we all live on high speed internet. There is a smart phone in every hand, a tablet in every bag, and a kindle to replace your gaudy bookshelves. Pretty soon The Sims will replace your actual family members and conversation with fleshy humans will be obsolete! Yay!
This post will not delve into all the finer points of the rise in technology, but one minor aspect that has come along with it — the selfie.
One definition I found that I feel sums it all up came from Urban Dictionary.com:
A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person’s arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.
The rise in the number of “selfies” spreading like wildfire across the internet makes me a bit nauseous and it got me thinking recently. Here is what I came to:
1. The ratio of women to men is pretty skewed.
I used the almighty Google to back my claim in this regard. I typed in the word ‘selfie’ and then counted out the first 100 pictures. There were 112 faces in those pictures and 73% of them were female. 22% were male. A staggering 2% were Woody from Toy Story. Figure THAT out.
What does this mean? I think the reality that physical image weighs more heavily on females than it does on males is not a question in this day and age. Some smart, attractive women have also used this craze to get themselves paid quite well because there is a whole gaggle of stupid males out there who will constantly stare at pretty women on the internet like slobbering neanderthals.
2. Selfies have given rise to the god awful facial expression known as “Duck Lips.”
Have you seen this face? Urban Dictionary provided me with another invaluable definition once again:
Where one’s lips look like a duck’s bill(beak). Most ** make kissing faces while they take endless pictures of themselves and post them at various places on the internet. They think it looks really cool, but they actually look like an ugly a** duck. It looks really AWFUL, and makes me want to destroy the internet because so many people are doing it.Guy1: Yo did you see her myspace?
Guy2: Yeah! She looks like a real ** with those duck lips!
I know there are plenty of people out there mocking the face now, as it rightly should be, and good on you, but there are honest to goodness people who believe this face is hot. Like,”you know you wanna f*%$ me,” hot. I am here to tell you that, no… no, you are not. Stop pursing your lips like a pouting baby before someone comes along and pulls them off your face because you are no longer mature enough to use them properly. Ugh. The sad thing is that Duck Lips are now being replaced by another horrid thing called Fish Gape. Will the insanity never end?
3. The world is antisocial enough as it is. Do we need one more excuse not to talk to actual people?
One of my largest gripes with selfies is that they are taken in one of two settings: in one’s own home, quite obviously in one’s room or… even stranger… one’s bathroom (seriously, what the hell with that?) or in a massively public place near a landmark or monument type structure.
In regards to the first instance, I will tackle that in point 4.
The second instance however is just sad. Many times you can actually see other human beings in the background of people’s selfies. Is it really so trendy to take the picture yourself now that you can’t just stop and say, “excuse me, but do you mind taking a picture for me?” How many times have you asked someone that question? How many times have you been asked? Why are we actively seeking every reason in the world to not interact with other human beings? It’s not a hard question to ask and it’s a request that the majority of people would be happy to do, but we are passing it up to take subpar pictures in order to be trendy.
I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s like the people who go to Starbucks together to study and spend the entire time instant messaging each other through their computers. TALK, damn you! Are other people really that scary?
4. When did narcissism become sexy?
Selfies are a form of ego masturbation in my opinion. Looking at the picture above do you think the girl wants you to focus on the colosseum… or her, “I’m so cute!” face? Go with B. It’s sure fire.
For that matter, take a look at the majority of selfies that are taken. What seems to be their main purpose? For you to look at that person’s marvellous face, and only that. To bask in the glory. I was always taught growing up not to spend too much time looking in the mirror because no one likes vanity. Now vanity has become a typical mode of self promotion. When did the world become okay with such blatant self love?
I will temper this by saying that this comes from a man with a headshot on his about page. This is a picture of me all prettied up and one could argue that such a photograph is also vain in its own right. I would counter this by saying I only paid for and produced that picture at the request of my writing mentor who claimed that all real writing professionals need one. I had a reason for my picture and made sure I found someone else to hold the camera. If you are obsessed with taking selfies, do you ever stop and wonder why you love to take pictures of yourself so much? I think you might not like the answer if you can be honest about it.
5. The only thing more ridiculous than the selfie is the selfie stick.
This… just this:
It wasn’t bad enough that people were obsessed with looking at pictures of themselves and their total lack of actual friends (as opposed to their 2,000,000 Facebook friends), but now we had to give them a stick to produce a wider angle? Seeing people using these things always makes me sad for society.
I actually saw someone once trying to set up this perfect shot of themselves and the struggle was quite fierce. I walked over and offered to take the picture for them and they looked at me like I was speaking alien. Do you not realise how much money I spent on this stick? their face seemed to say. They had bought the stick and now they were going to use it. Never mind that the help of a real live human would have ended their struggle with the perfect shot much quicker, the point was that they didn’t want me interfering and the purchasing of said stick had guaranteed them of harassment free picture taking at any time and from any spot.
It made me sad that such simple interactions are now becoming obsolete because so much of our young society is antisocial and vain. They don’t want to talk to you, they want to text you. They don’t want to visit with you, they want to Skype you. They don’t want a picture with you, they want you to like their selfie on Facebook.
Who knows, maybe in another 10 years we won’t even have to leave the house and we’ll have cameras going 24/7 in our homes to catch us from any sexy angle we choose. I pray to the gods I don’t live to see it.
What do you think about selfies? Do you take them? What is your reason for doing so if you do? Where do you take them? I hope I am not alone in my hatred of them. Happy blogging all!