I’ve seen people doing it in class. I’ve seen people doing it at parties. I’ve seen people doing it while eating, working out at the gym, pretty much everywhere and anywhere. Celebrities do it. Even Olympic athletics are doing it. Selfies: the art of taking a picture of your own face.
You see them every day on popular apps like Instagram, being corrected with filters and good lighting. Snapchat was pretty much created for taking good pictures of your face to send to your crush and taking hideous pictures of your face to send to your closest friends. But are selfies really just shameless picture taking, or for some people, are they huge ego boosts?
I have to admit, I too have dabbled in the selfie game. I have stood by the window to get good lighting and have taken a good 20 pictures to get the perfect one. Then I go through every Instagram filter (twice) and pick the right one. While I’m scrolling through I tend to think, “This is stupid,” but I also tend to post the picture anyway. Shamelessly embarrassing, I know, but I’m definitely not the only one.
Everyone I know, male and female, have sent, received, and posted selfies. I get and send my face through Snapchat all day long, and let me tell you, they are usually not good pictures of my face that I would want out in public. I mostly send and put up pictures for fun, but I can’t be the only one that appreciates every “like” I get on my posts. But how much is too much?
Danielle Walsh, a junior, said, “I used to think selfies were total ego boosters, because it’s easy to assume that they are just a way to show how attractive someone is. But then, I saw this Dove video about real beauty. It was all about changing the way girls see themselves by taking selfies, telling them to embrace their flaws and be confident in who they really are.”
Katie Dykstra, a senior, agreed. “I feel like selfies definitely boost people’s self-esteem, mainly because people only post pictures to make themselves look good, or better. This is why selfies are genius, because it’s impossible to take a bad selfie now that there are so many effects offered in apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. With all these apps, cool and even natural looking selfies are possible.”
“I think selfies are very individualistic,” said Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Department of Communication. “The meaning is different for every person taking them. If you go on my Facebook, you’ll see one or two selfies of me and my wife on vacation. But I think in this world, its about people defying themselves. It’s all about identity.”
Dell added, “The technology we use these days encourages these things. Facebook encourages us to post pictures and locations but not for the reasons we think. They do this to know our buying and traveling interests to sell advertisements that we’re interested in.”
I’m not exactly sure when the selfie craze started, but for me, it had to be as soon as I got my first cell phone. Now, this is dating back to almost ten years ago, so this has gone on for longer than I would like to admit. Again, I was not the only person posting selfies to MySpace or taking them on my laptop webcam. I’m sure people still do this. But the possibility of selfie taking has grown so much over the years, not only with the apps mentioned, but with every part of technology out these days. I mean, why else would cell phones have front cameras? What else would you be taking pictures of with a front camera?
The other day, I went to take a picture of something (not my face, probably a plate of food, but that’s another story) and I realized three little dots on the bottom side of my camera. Now, why I never realized they were there before I’ll never know, but I clicked on them to investigate anyway. The three little dots were for filters, so apparently, every picture we take on smart phones can be filtered now. Apps aren’t even needed.
I don’t think we will be seeing an end to selfies anytime soon, so I guess the only logical thing we can do about it is sit back, relax and keep the selfies coming.
PHOTO TAKEN by Casey Wolfe
PHOTO COURTESY of Erin McMullen