The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Selfie Welfare


Alrighty then! This might be a bit of long one but today I'm in the mood to chat about selfies!  In my experience, most people have one of two opinions when it comes to selfies.  Either you like taking them and do it fairly frequently, or you don't and view those that do as narcissistic arseholes.

I have some friends who take many selfies, others who I have never seen take one image of themselves the whole time I've known them.  Throughout my journey as a blogger and photographer I too, have dabbled in the taking of selfies.  Not as many as some, more than others and the thing I found most interesting is how those that don't admit to taking selfies viewed me. I say don't admit as in a study by Sarah Diefenbach* the 'selfie paradox is exposed. This states that while 82% of people say they do not wish to see so many selfies on social media 77% of people regularly take the damn things! I'm neither a psychologist nor a mathematician but even I can see there is some sort of Venn diagram of hypocritical twattery going on here. 

So why is so much shame being plastered onto selfie takers if most of us are doing it?  I was called a 'selfie queen' once, and while I'm certain there was no malice intended from the person that said this, it did feel quite 'judgey'.  Like it was something I should be at least little bit ashamed of.  As this comment was passed by someone I'm extremely fond of I felt somewhat chastised, but needed to see if they were right. And where else would you go when investigating your own image but the temple of the selfie taker... Instagram.  Its here you'll see the most images of me and I'm sure its my account (Theemiddlesis in case you're wondering) that earned me the title in this persons eye's.  
There I am with Christmas and Autumn, Two of my all time favourite things!
And this is the interesting bit. I went through each and every one of my instagram images, took away the number that were selfies and worked out that percentage. It was 18%. Yep 18 percent! In other words, 4/5th of the images I posted were of coffee, nature, fashion, events, books or the gazillion other things I am into, but it seems that 18% was much more evident than the other 82%.  And this is before Facebook took over so we can't blame the God awful algorithms**

Although this was some time ago the selfie is still a phenomenon that provokes discussion as the recent Intelligence Squared pod cast 'Me My selfie and I: Self expression in the Digital Age shows. While it highlighted that, yes in 2015 more people died taking selfies than were killed by sharks, it also pointed out that some anthropologists believe the self portrait is critical to human development and evolution.
There I am again, twice in this set.  A narcissist or someone that is comfortable in their own skin?
I really enjoy seeing my friends images and love that their selfies are included in blog and instagram posts. Furthermore, as I know more about them than the few images I see on my phone, I know these people are not overly self involved.  The thing is just because a particularly affluent, attention seeking Armenian family are the poster people of selfies, doesn't mean that anyone that takes a selfie is the same.

So next time you see someone with a camera held aloft at the perfect flattering angle, think about not judging them. Not all selfie takers are the same.  We don't all go to truly beautiful areas of natural beauty and miss the scenery because we are taking 137 pictures of our own face.  We don't all think that we invented the very act we are partaking in only 11 years ago #EyerollHilton.

Some of us are capturing a time in our lives we want to remember, a thought that's particularly important or yes having a moment of self expression.  If that makes you feel uncomfortable then maybe you should try it, you might be surprised at the outcome. 

*Professor of market and consumer psychology at the Ludwig Maximilian's University  ** Oh My God I hate it I hate it when will we wake from this nightmare***
** sorry FWP I know!

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