Selfies: a popular trend on social media at the moment. I am unsure of the appeal of selfies and regularly find myself confronted by such images posted by some of my friends. Whenever I see a selfie posted these thoughts always run through my mind:
- What is the attraction of posting images of yourself online?
- Are you aware that when these images are published they are then accessible to anyone, one way or another?
- Why do you post images of yourself online?
- Is there a difference between posting a selfie of just yourself and posting one of you and a friend?
- Are you seeking approval or acceptance?
I decided to ask a couple of 14 year old girls as to whether or not they thought selfies were cool. Their response was interesting. The girls said that solo selfies are no longer cool amongst their friends but group selfies are okay. They went on to say that using filters to modify your appearance in these selfies is definitely not cool. When I asked if there was an appropriate time to take a selfie they replied with: if you are somewhere interesting and in a group then yes.
This got me thinking about my own selfies. I have only ever posted images of myself in group situations, when I am somewhere really interesting or if I am doing something I am very proud of.
So, my question is this: if the younger generation is starting to think of selfies as uncool then will this continue to be something that my generation clings to? I know I have lots of friends that regularly post selfies, some even joke about how often they do it. Sometimes they make me cringe and other times they can be quite beautiful photos.
This brings me to a little light reading I did on the subject. An article in the Courier Mail by Olympia Nelson (2013) titled Dark undercurrents of teenage girls’ selfies talks about how selfies have turned relationships into a sexual rat-race. However, if the younger generation is starting to feel that selfies are no longer cool, then whose relationships are these selfies actually damaging, and is this a problem that our young people face or is it something that my generation will cling to?
I certainly think that the song Let me take a selfie certainly helps to support the argument that selfies are something that my generation regularly participate in. Perhaps there is still hope!