I'm not a fan of selfie, i.e. "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website" ( Oxford Dictionary ). I personally think that this kind of photography is quite useless and to many times it's driven by a sense of vanity and narcissism. However, today I've read an article on the NYTimes (source below) that made me think about the reason why we take selfies:
The self-portraits are worlds — and decades — apart. But they are threaded together by a timeless delight in our ability to document our lives and leave behind a trace for others to discover. [...]
"People are wrestling with how they appear to the rest of the world,” Mr. Thompson (a technology writer) said. “Taking a photograph is a way of trying to understand how people see you, who you are and what you look like, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” [...]
They are often more effective at conveying a feeling or reaction than text. Plus, we’ve become more comfortable seeing our faces on-screen, thanks to services like Snapchat, Skype, Google Hangout and FaceTime, and the exhilarating feeling of connectedness that comes from even the briefest video conversation. Receiving a photo of the face of the person you’re talking to brings back the human element of the interaction, which is easily misplaced if the interaction is primarily text-based. [...]
Rather than dismissing the trend as a side effect of digital culture or a sad form of exhibitionism, maybe we’re better off seeing selfies for what they are at their best — a kind of visual diary, a way to mark our short existence and hold it up to others as proof that we were here. The rest, of course, is open to interpretation. [...]
Even if this article doesn't completely change my opinion about selfies, I think it opens to a new interesting point of view. The next time I'll see a selfie on Instagram I'll think of these words.
Now, open your iPhone camera and say "cheese".