So for those of you who haven’t yet heard of this new song, check it out:
And for those of you who aren’t sure about the definition of a “selfie,” we shall rely on the infallible Urban Dictionary, which defines it as “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.” (Urban Dictionary) Ok, so maybe that description is slightly harsh. I will be the first to admit I take selfies… how awkward is it to ask someone else to take a photo of just you? I’d much rather pose in front of my MacBook camera rather than make some sensual face at a camera someone else is holding.
But wait, stop me right there. Why am I even taking selfies in the first place?! Dove recently launched a campaign that encourages preteen girls and their moms to take unedited selfies and post them, focusing on the parts of them that are beautiful. I get that, and I commend the beauty industry for pushing towards self-confidence and loving one’s own beauty.
I love that idea. But the idea of “selfies” in general is literally the most narcissistic idea in existence. “Hold on, let me snap a pic of my self and post it so that people like it and comment on how pretty/good looking I am.” WHAT IS THIS?! I realize I’m super riled up about this and maybe you think I’m crazy, or a hypocrite because I take selfies too. But when you think about it, selfies are the epitome of what’s wrong with our generation. We’re so focused on how we appear to others that we often forget the importance of our internal beauty and what really matters.
I’m not saying everyone in our generation is self-centered and narcissistic, not in the least. But the fact that a majority of us are so focused on ourselves that I’m afraid that this is how our generation is going to be defined. But the fact that there’s a song about it says that the age of selfies and self-centered mindsets are the current phenomenon, and associate us all with being self absorbed.
If this isn’t doing it for ya, just listen to some of the lyrics:
“There’s no vodka at this table
Do you know anyone else here?
Oh my god, Jason just texted me
Should I go home with him?
I guess I took a good selfie.”
While it obviously says something about the people I’m hanging around with, I’ve definitely heard variations of this conversation before, as I’m sure we all have. But if all these questions don’t flash in bright neon lights “SELF-CENTERED,” I don’t know what does.
So what am I saying? Definitely not that we should abandon the art of selfie-taking. I’m also not saying we don’t think about ourselves. (Believe me, I’m a huge advocate for high self-esteem) But again, my issue is this: we spent so much time focusing on our appearance we forget about the world around us. And this is not healthy. I’d much rather hangout with someone who actually cares about me and not how I’m perceived by society based on the number of Instagram followers, and I think a lot of you would agree. So why, then, do we think it’s ok to act like that?! I think our best bet in order to actually do something beneficial for society and lose the stereotype of being narcissistic is to listen to the advice of one of the greatest 80’s movies of all time, The Breakfast Club, which urges, “Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.”
Ady. (2013, 11 23). “#SELFIE! SPARROW FACE, THE NEW DUCK FACE” Retrieved from http://whenindoubtjustaddglitter.blogspot.com/2013/11/selfie-sparrow-face-new-duck-face.html
#SELFIE (Official Music Video) – The Chainsmokers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdemFfbS5H0
THE CHAINSMOKERS LYRICS – #SELFIE. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/chainsmokers/selfie.html
Urban Dictionary: selfie. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=selfie