It seems like everyone has a strong opinion about “selfies.” Of course, most folks will say, “I think they’re stupid!” and then take a selfie 2 days later feeling little remorse. You know how I know this? Because I do this. My friends do this. You probably do this.
I wrote an article about this several days ago, and the feedback was pretty typical. I talked about how selfies are killing our relationships, using data and research that has been making waves online, and everyone pretty much nodded their head in agreement and left it at that.
But let’s talk about the logic of how selfies are bad for us and why it’s led me to abolishing them forever.
First, the idea that selfies are “killing” our relationships is intended to be dramatic, and I believe most people caught that the first time I said it. Selfies are more or less a symptom of a deeper problem surfacing in the millennial generation–a problem that has to do with why we take selfies in the first place.
Have I defined selfies yet? Sorry, let’s do that real fast. Selfies are those pictures we take of ourselves that have the subconscious caption, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” Of course, we don’t admit that selfies or any other photos we’re posting online have this connotation, but that is definitely the case in general.
Back to my original point: Selfies are fueled by the real problem, which is narcissism. A narcissistic person is someone who is self-obsessed and overly preoccupied with their own affairs.
A common insult lobbed at the fine people in my generation is that we are excessively narcissistic, mostly due to the advent of social media and the viral phenomenon (everyone wants to be famous).
You see, social media is all about self-promotion, and we use it to make a spectacle of ourselves online. In a lot of cases, we craft images of ourselves that are idealistic in nature, leading to behavior that indirectly damages our relationships.
We alienate our friends by taking endless photos of ourselves, and people who don’t know us yet (that are stalking us) are making decisions about us based on these photos.
For example, what does a bathroom picture of a girl mean to me? I am instantly unattracted to any girl who would take a bathroom selfie. That’s just a matter of personal taste and my personal prejudice against that type of life decision.
Who knows? Maybe she has a prejudice against guys who take gym selfies. Maybe people who take gym selfies find business selfies lame?
For me, I would much rather meet a person and make a decision about their personality after the fact. Tangible relationships are falling prey to these intangible trends (like selfies) that are fueled by our narcissism.
Yes, I am narcissistic. I’ll always be somewhat narcissistic thanks to human nature, but I can at least get rid of behaviors that reward my narcissism. That’s why I said goodbye to selfies.
I decided that every picture I take has to have a meaning and intent behind it that goes beyond “LOOK AT ME!” Instead, I want pictures to say “Look at this!”, “Look at my friend!”, “Look at me and my friend doing this!” and so on.
Though I don’t think everyone has to say goodbye to selfies (not everyone is that narcissistic and no, not all selfies are inherently bad), can you imagine how many duckfaces would disappear from the internet if they did?
To sum up, I encourage anyone who wants to start crafting authentic relationships to say goodbye to narcissism and selfies. Don’t worry about people thinking you’re cute or interesting on their screen. Go to the places where people can actually get to know the real you.
I think you’ll be pleased by what happens.
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