Cell Phones and Selfies

Ok,  this is very embarrassing for me but I’ll come clean and confess:

“I have used a Selfie Stick”.

“There, I said it, are you happy?”  If you are like me, you will probably have to take a few moments to Google “Selfie Stick” to make sure you know what I’m talking about.  For those not willing to take the time, I’ll just describe it here in a few sentences:  It is a stick-like device used to hold your phone at a greater distance from your face so you can take better selfies.  (Ok, I guess it only took one sentence.)

I would not describe myself as a selfie type of guy, much to the relief of many of my FB friends, and when I used my niece’s Selfie Stick, it was for educational purposes only.  (I found out that although the Selfie Stick did improve the angle of the selfie, it did nothing to improve the overall picture of me, as I had hoped.)  My 5-year-old daughter was helping me at the time and she loved it, but she always loves taking selfies so that isn’t surprising.  I told her that when I was a kid, we didn’t have cell phones with cameras in them.  In fact if I am totally honest, we didn’t have cell phones.  (Before anybody asks, yes, we did have cameras, but they were film not digital.)  It is amazing to me how much the “phone camera” has changed our lives.  How much more of our life is documented with pictures because we have a camera with us wherever we go?  For many people, their phone is the only camera they need or want.  Just recently, I was in a group of young people and we were talking about having someone else take a picture of a group.  While I pictured handing my Olympus OMD E-M1 over to a complete stranger, one of the young guys in the group said, “I would never trust a stranger with my phone”.   Am I getting old?

I have given it a lot of thought but I still don’t understand what causes a person to take and then post a picture of themselves… Is it confidence/pride saying: I am so hot, cool, amazing, etc… that I want the whole world to enjoy my good looks with me?  Or does it rise up from an insecurity/fear of going unnoticed in this busy, fast paced world?  “Hey, I’m over here.  Don’t forget about me.”  Or is it some other reason entirely?  At any rate, I think you must be more secure or just plain better looking than me if you are willing to post pictures of yourself that you took of yourself…

If you look up “selfie” in the New Oxford American Dictionary (American English), the one I have close to hand, you find this :

selfie |ˈselfē| (also selfy)
noun (pl.selfies) informal
a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary.
ORIGIN early 21st cent.: from self + -ie

We can gather a few things from this entry: 1. Occasional selfies are acceptable, but not one a day.  2. The root of the word “selfie” is self…

So, what is my point in all this rambling?

Nothing really, just some observations.  If you are someone who loves taking, posting, and/or viewing selfies I hope I have not offended you, as that was not my intent.  Just to prove that I am not a hater, only an infrequent selfier, (did I just invent a new word?)  Here is a picture from the Selfie Stick testing session:

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