August 29, 2013 12:00 AM | by Nada Allam
#Selfies and #Smiles
Let me just say from the start that I mean no judgement or disrespect to all the people who post #selfies on their social media accounts. For the purpose of this article, I am merely a curious person from a parallel universe questioning and tackling the most talked about topic nowadays; the #selfie.
Did you know that 'Selfie' is officially a word in the dictionary. So technically speaking college students, and post-graduate students can use the word, selfie, in their research papers. Professors can probably use them in their lectures, and sooner than later they will probably be making their way into business proposals.
A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website along with a #selfie.
The steps to take your very own #selfie:
1. Pick up your phone and activate the camera.
2. Reposition the camera so that the lens is facing you.
3. Make an eccentric/ memorable face.
4. Snap the picture.
5. Post it on Instagram with a bunch of hashtags including #selfie.
6. Wait for feedback.
#Selfies and Age:
A generation ago, being a kid meant coloring books, running around, staining your clothes after a long day of playing and begging for an extra hour of TV. Nowadays, being a kid means having at least one of the latest technological gadgets and an account on at least two of the trending social media accounts. They worry about the amount of followers they have, while I used to worry about watching the latest Disney movie. Point is, nowadays, age has truly adopted the concept that it really is just a number. When six year olds have more photos on their Instagram account than a 25 year old fashion blogger, and have mastered the art of hashtags, then you know you're definitely lagging behind. It's not shocking anymore to have children taking snap shots of their faces from every angle and hashtagging the #selfie. In addition to so, you have people like Victoria's Secret models pulling the #selfie, granted in a much more sexy and appealing way than children, but still.
Scenario: The hypothetical kid next me is curious and asks, "So when I see Mummy look to her phone and pucker her lips, she is taking a #selfie?"
Me: "Yup, that's right kid. Mummy is the best influence, always copy your Mummy. "
And look at that, I just created an entire new generation of #selfies. Maybe I can get them to stick their tongue out more like Miley Cyrus instead of pucker up their lips.
Whatever happened to the #smile?
Okay okay, maybe I am being a bit skeptical, after all I am sure we all have photo albums filled with #selfie pictures. Then again, the realist part of my brain seems to be saying, your #selfie childhood pictures document the story of you growing up. Your parents loved your smile, your cheeks, and what kid doesn't have childhood pictures. I am all for the #selfie pictures, documenting your time, holidays etc… but just one question, "What is it with the duck face?"
So what is this the reason behind the #selfie? Celebrities, companies, bloggers, children…practically everyone seems to be taking part in the #selfies. Don't even get me started on the #throwbackthursday but let's leave that for another time. The common theory behind the #selfie seems to be #boredom. For example whilst sitting in traffic, people feel the need to snap away a bunch of facial expressions and form their very own #selfie #traffic #collage. If you think about it, the #selfie is bringing back narcissism, is it all for attention? Is the duck face to show how luscious your lips are puckered up? Is the 'I'm not looking pose' to show your left profile, which has better features than your right? Are we bidding farewell to the happy days with smiles? Will we be channeling our inner Victoria Beckham from here on then in our future pictures?
I'll channel my inner Chandler Bing, "Can the #selfie get any more mainstream?"