The Modern Art Of Selfie

the art of selfie imgSo what a bunch of narcissistic, pathetic, no life having morons these kids are today eh? Or so certain online newspaper comment boards would have you think. With the Queen of the selfie Kim Kardashian at the helm, people (and not just kids) have been snapping the minutiae of their lives now for a few years. Their breakfast, their clothing…or lack of(!), themselves in bed chilling with their partners… They even snap themselves in front of tragic events such as the fatal coffee house hostage taking in Australia. Or when a man in the US was attacked and left lying in the street, early morning commuters thoughtfully took selfies of him lying there but felt that this didn’t leave enough time to call for help for him, so continued on their various merry journeys to work. Imagine the old story of the The Good Samaritan, but with camera phones!

Ms Kardashian even brought out her own book of selfies called ‘Selfish’ which either bombed or was entirely successful depending on who you talk to. 32,000 sales is small fry for her but big fry for some, considering that she is selling images or similar images that are pretty much available everywhere anyway.

Recently a report came out illustrating how many youngster’s self esteem levels are totally hooked on the validation they get from their selfie comments and how their whole sense of worth can be shattered without that thumbs up from their followers on a daily basis.

But folks disparaging the selfie taking craze in one deft put down fail to take into account the amount of people also earning a comfortable living via taking these selflies. The much mocked Instagram ‘models’ take pics because often they are supplemented by big brands willing to pay for them to do so. Quite simply it pays the rent. If you are one of our Blogging Caucus members we introduced you to one these girls in our last report and told you how it all works.

In their haste to condemn anything modern that they can’t get to grips with, the (usually older) naysayers fail to see how they are starting to sound like their own parents sounded 50 years ago.

They lump every selfie friendly social network out there into one ball of dysfunction and condemn the lot whilst proudly saying that it is because they ‘have a life’ they wouldn’t dream of using these platforms, despite their usage of another social platform to inform the world of their presumed valuable opinion. Surely both platforms merely cater for forms of expression? One is left unsure of what is worse at this point, pride in being both obstinately ignorant and arrogant about new technology or the increasingly (mostly) youthful unattractive narcissism.

SO WHAT SAY YOU?

1. What a bunch of narcissistic, pathetic, no life having morons these kids are today eh?

2. Nothing wrong with taking (endless) selfies, who is it hurting?

3. I am concerned about my children buying into this look-at-me, me, me madness.

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54 thoughts on “The Modern Art Of Selfie

  1. Kids in my day could not take selfies, cost too much. So the looked in the mirror and made all kids of faces. Probably as many faces as selfies, maybe more. Not only was it cheap, free, but it did not take up any memory. But it only lasted a second and was never seen again. No one else had to live through it unless they did it with a friend. It is their age exploring facial expressions.

  2. I don’t think they are that bad, but I don’t understand why so many celebs and wannabe’s have to selfie their boobs and butts. Really people I do know what a boob is and a butt, I don’t need to see yours! Going off at a complete tangent here, I think we’ve always had selfies, but used in the past a timer and a tripod. Digital just made it much easier.

    1. Yes we have always had it, just not quite so easy. Plus once we took them before they stayed in the family album, now people post every yawn-some mundane aspect of their lives, including those boobs and butts. I have no idea why in most cases.

  3. Thanks. I read all the comments before posting mine. I just recommended your blog to my monthly writers’ group (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). We were talking about blogs and writing tools in general. Anyway, love the work you do. Thanks for keeping it up. Cheers.

  4. So interesting that this has come up now.

    I write a blog about ADD, aging, dyslexia and other issues of the brain. I worry that my posts might seem too self-absorbed because they are often based on my own experience.

    I spoke about these concerns with one of my local followers just yesterday — a wise person whose opinions I greatly respect. She said my posts, although personal in nature, combine my experience with actual research and useful information. I’m not bragging here, just relating what she said.

    My intention with my blog is pure: to help others who might have the same struggles as me and to change the way our society views and responds to these issues.

    I guess there is a fine line between incessantly pointing a camera or social-media posts at oneself to gain approval and a false sense of self-esteem (that’s sad and unhealthy), as opposed to using personal experience in an effort to relate to others.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks for this great and timely post. Ah, synchronicity!

    1. It absolutely make sense. There is that difference. I’m gonna quote what I said to another commenter here ‘cos it fits.

      She said ‘I guess I’m guilty because I take selfies…’
      I said
      ‘It’s that blurred line much like the previous post about where arrogance meets confidence.
      Yes you are guilty as charged, but…but… you are not pulling duck faces and looking completely deluded and absurd. Your pics are charming. They are a simple photo journal of your young family…not just you.
      There is nothing about your pics that grates slightly, and there is not 500 of them in the same pose in front of a mirror looking like you are either psychotically desperate for attention or couldn’t love yourself any more if you tried. I can confidently say it’s different.’

      I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of reading your blog yet but I suspect the critique of your blog is spot on. Most of us use our own experience to illustrate a point we’re making, so we have to shine the spotlight on ourselves to do so, but it is the intention and delivery that makes the difference.

      1. Thanks. I read all the comments before posting mine. I just recommended your blog to my monthly writers’ group (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). We were talking about blogs and writing tools in general. Anyway, love the work you do. Thanks for keeping it up. Cheers.

  5. I would go with number 2 if it’s not hurting or disturbing anyone else in the social networks. Well displaying your own picture isn’t a crime or a bad habit. That’s my opinion.

    1. Defo not a crime. But if you sat next to someone who talked non-stop about themselves for 2 hours it wouldn’t be a crime just slightly boring after a while. Maybe constant selfy-ing leaves the same impression to some? If maybe not to others.

  6. Guilty…My kids and I take selfies all the time for our family and friends. They are fun and I don’t really care who comments or doesn’t. BUT… I can see they danger of people letting them determine how they see themselves through comments or lack of. It’s unfortunate that social media has this darker side of things…So I hope I can teach my kids not to get sucked into the “look at me” “me, me me” side of things. And that comes down to me as a parent helping them along I guess.

    1. It’s that blurred line much like the previous post about where arrogance meets confidence.
      Yes you are guilty as charged, but…but… you are not pulling duck faces and looking completely deluded and absurd. Your pics are charming. They are a simple photo journal of your young family…not just you.
      There is nothing about your pics that grates slightly, and there is not 500 of them in the same pose in front of a mirror looking like you are either psychotically desperate for attention or couldn’t love yourself any more if you tried. I can confidently say it’s different.

  7. All I’ll say is I’m concerned about children saying ‘look at me, look at me, madness’. What happened to climbing trees, riding bikes, roller skating, and having fun. It’s all gone mad!! Thank GOD my kids have grown up, because all parents are teaching their kids with the selfie rubbish, is how to have a massive ego!

  8. To quote Hemingway “There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true ” So it depends on how you look at it.
    It is either 1. Borderline narcissism. I mean why click pictures of your self ALL. THE. TIME?
    2. It’s modern art, somewhat a form of Self portrait if you will 😛
    I know while writing this comment I am being a hypocrite as I too have crossed over to the dark side and now call myself a member of the Selfie Generation 😛

  9. I think some of it has to do with being bored. The youngsters don’t know how to really enjoy something and us adults have lost what’s it like to not have these things in our lives. Then some just can’t get enough of themselves or are looking for approval to feel better about themselves. Even though there is nothing wrong taking those photos, I think too much of it is stupid and annoying. It’s easier to be self centered. I think with everyone deep down feeling bad about themselves, this gives them a fake self worth. It’s sad.

  10. I would challenge anyone to deny that they took a photo of themselves at least once with a film or polaroid camera. I certainly did, despite having to wait days to see the result.

    As with everything in life selfies can be taken too far but in general, I see very little harm and I’m fairly certain most youth will outgrow the phase.

    1. I had to smile at this because I just found a box of pictures and it looks like my brother got hold of my camera on our holidays and snapped a few selfies to toss in the mix… I smiled!

  11. I would say Number 2, if people want to do that, it’s their life…BUT…If they are taking it to the extreme (like worrying about the comments and likes) then someone definitely needs to step in and do something about it.

      1. Loved it! Thank you for sending the link…Although, it’s bit like a mainstream model waking up and finding out that her pictures are being retouched and that the pictures she took with Orlando Bloom in Hawaii were not her real life! It’s a job. Do it. Don’t do it.

        She talks about white privilege and that includes being able to turn down money for simply promoting tea. I’m guessing if she were a refugee she would have a different opinion.

        Like acting, it’s just a job. The bit about how empty it made her feel is interesting and that can be easily resolved by going out and helping others instead of seeking yet more online thumbs ups for NOT wearing make up.
        What did YOU take from it?

      2. I took the same thing away I think that you did. I applaud her for leaving it was making her feel a huge void. Maybe she could educate people instead, how to use social media. How to step away from something that makes you feel like you have a big void.
        Also I want to know how to get hundreds/thousands from taking a photo on Instagram,lol. If you want to pay me hundreds of dollars to drink some tea, I’ll do it,lol.

      3. Right? Come on now, let’s not wee in the faces of people all over the world with real lack-of-basic-food-to-eat issues! Or people who have to actually work real jobs or lose their homes who would bite her right hand off to pretend to drink tea for a few hundred.

        Also, join the Blogging Caucus and see if it helps you any with those gaining those hundreds/thousands.

  12. #3 is what say I, plus although I have nothing against someone being assertive/confident about his or her attractiveness and being open about it, I don’t think it’s necessary to have the incessant selfie takes because that becomes self absorption. This is in the context of someone just taking selfies wherever and whenever.

    On the other hand, those people who take selfies of themselves and are paid to do it, well, that is like being a model, right? Just because the person is not a known celebrity, that is how the person is making a living, so that in my perception is plain capitalism. If people pay to see that, then there must be demand for that particular character or face. The person becomes a brand. Yes, back to the Kardashians. Funny how so many hate them, but there must be more who like them because they’re still famous.

  13. The idea of anyone’s self-esteem hinging on selfie comments is sad and scary. Good point, though, about generational bias. Every generation criticizes the young for participating in a societal norm that was nonexistent during their own youth.

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