There comes a time in every pop culture fad’s life, when it has to look itself in the mirror, stare into its own soul, and decide whether it’s time to call it quits. That time is now for the “selfie.”
Having seen and heard the word “selfie” a few dozen times the past few days, I decided to head over to Google News and and type the term into the search bar.
“About 21,300,000 results (0.31 seconds)”
If each of those results were a person, and they all lived in one state, it would be the third largest state in the US, behind only California, 38 million, and Texas, 26 million. You could also look at it from the perspective that it equals the combined numbers from states 32-50 on a list of states ranked by population.
“Selfies” are now often seen in commercials, and in the case of Ellen DeGeneres, they are nothing but commercials. That might even be the case with Masters Golf Tournament winner Bubba Watson, whose “selfie” at my beloved Waffle House after his win blew up online earlier this week.
There was a time when having a camera was about taking photos of the things you see. It was a lens pointed outward, capturing your perspective of the world, your perception of what is interesting and beautiful. Now it seems to be more about how the world sees us, but unfortunately most people don’t realize they look like assholes from an outside perspective.
Photos were taken for yourself not of yourself.
Today, while you’re online, take a look at the self-taken photos you see. If you didn’t know the person in the photo, would they appear to be the kind of person you would want to be beside on the bus, at the mall, in the movie theater, or at work with?
Chances are the person is wearing something ridiculous, doing something ridiculous, or making the dumbest face imaginable, as a means of getting the attention of the people in the social media universe. The photo says nothing, it conveys no information, and it’s only achievement is bringing attention to themselves, because they don’t get enough attention in their real lives. As is the case with some, all the attention, is still rarely enough. to fill the giant hole in their personalities.
There is a certain amount of narcissism inherent in the “selfie.” (Damn, it’s hard for me to even keep writing that word.) The photos all seem to say the same thing, but they do it in different ways.
“Look at me!”
“Look what I’m doing!”
“Look where I am!”
“Check out what I’m wearing!”
“This is the funniest face I’ve ever made!”
“I’m so sad! (emoticon of a smiley face)”
And they call the generation of the 1970s the Me Generation?
Some people will take the picture themselves, even when other people are around to do it for them, because taking a “selfie” is a thing.
It’s a thing just like Chuck Taylor Converses, saggy pants, friendship and jelly bracelets, Crocs, Zubaz, Skidz, Jams (shorts), American Idol, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Cabbage Patch Kids, and gaudy necklaces with red, black, and green, depictions of Africa on them. And everybody wants to be part of a thing, right?
And we all want to be a part of the it thing, right?
Maybe if you have no sense of self.
That seems to be the hallmark of those who jump from one fad to another in their lives, as they desperately trying keeping up with what’s “In” at the moment, as opposed to just going where their inner-self leads them. If one’s inner-self leads you from last week’s fad to this week’s fad, over and over again, it’s probably time to take that inner self to a therapist and set up a regular, weekly appointment for the foreseeable future.
It’s time for the “Selfie” to go away. If nothing else, it’s time for the terminology to go away. I don’t want to hear the word any more than I want to see someone actually in one. In fact, I would probably rather see one than hear the word again.
We’ve hit selfie saturation.
The culture is just not capable of handling much more.