Thursday, 26 June 2014

Selfie – The Selfish Phenomenon

The invention of the camera was a cute moment in the technological terms. It was a huge one really, but the cuteness is attributed owing to its current use. Gone were the days when moments were recorded in the memory and were rejoiced the same way even after decades. They rarely faded away. Camera helped us capture those moments and print them on a piece of paper, frame them and rejoice nonetheless.

These bulky devices were then miniaturized and fit into the pocket sized cellphones and their quality improved overtime. We could see people roaming around clicking their friends and random strangers being asked to click a group photo because no one volunteered to be left out of the group photo. All was well and good until one day someone wondered “let me see how I look” when no one else was around and since necessity is the mother of all invention; he pointed the camera at himself. Lo and behold, the selfie was born.

Wikipedia defines selfie as “a self-portrait, typically taken with a handheld digital camera or a camera phone and often shared on social networking platforms”. This invention coupled with Facebook and Instagram has swarmed the social network with self-obsessed teens and self-obsessed narcissist adults behaving like teens posting numerous self-shots passed through the filter-beautifications. Selfies are selfish no denying that, as is obvious.

And the selfies however are not as bad as the criticism they face although, obsessive selfie-taking is said to be a mental disorder. Selfies eliminates the need for a second person to perform the task. This leads to efficient utilization of the human resources available. Also it teaches the youth to be independent, to do the needful single handedly instead of kissing people’s asses begging them to ‘take a pic’. Also you get to be full on narcissistic, as much as you like.

For some who find it embarrassing to pose for photo and smile on cue (remember Chandler ??), this new revelation takes away that embarrassment. Just go find a nice washroom and click away my friend. And please, please for the sake of humanity make sure there are no poop-seats and urinals in the background. 

Also selfies fulfill another purpose. The camera nowadays doubles up as a mirror in the absence of the real thing. Front camera in smartphones is a boon. Girls carry a compact mirror in their resourceful handbag. Guys have their smartphones to thank, because that hairstyle just gobbled up a significant quantity of the expensive gel and needs to be spot-on accurate right down to the last hair.

Selfie, in itself, is an art form. You need patience, perseverance and practice. Only a few have mastered the art. Not being a sexist, but if you need tips on how to take a perfect selfie, ask a girl. They mesmerize us time and again. Such beauty. Guys, on the other hand, take a while to get in the groove. Just because you are ugly is no good reason to give up on your dream of perfect selfie, worthy of being on social network in public viewing.

They , the selfies do not define the art completely. There are subcategories. There is the pout-face, the ever so popular duck-face, the occasional shit-face and the unofficial one, which exists in abundance, the what-the-f***-is-that-face.

Selfies are the norm today. It’s just a start. I just read in the news that selfies may be replaced by a new phenomenon – dronies, that is drones taking aerial pictures on your command.  In words of Catwoman, “There’s a storm coming.” We better be ready with our ‘block’ options. Selfies are here to stay. Make peace with it.

Also published on Campusghanta.

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