Why the ‘Selfie Obsession’?

Most recently, it has become rather apparent that society (particularly millennials) are obsessed with taking selfies wherever and whenever. I know I’m definitely guilty of the occasional selfie spree, whilst enjoying a night out with friends and family (and I’m far from being alone)! As such, this magical concept called a ‘selfie’ is utilised mostly in order to validate what is being done or achieved and sometimes seems more important than the actual task being completed. It has gotten to the point where I’ve begun to question what’s really more important – enjoying the present moment, or how others perceive I’m enjoying the moment?

The number of likes on a Facebook status or Instagram post and the number of views on a Snapchat has become crucial in regards to social media hierarchy. As stated previously, capturing a selfie in order to document a moment is so much more important than actually enjoying the experience. In November last year, I went to the races with a group of friends and was constantly on my phone taking photos the entire day, although I was always careful ensuring I was enjoying the day as well as taking photographic evident. The photo below was taken on Melbourne Cup Day showcasing the excitable nature of a selfie featuring both myself and my friend.

Authors own photo (my friend gave permission for this selfie to be posted).

All of these selfies and my social media presence, in general, is (sadly) predominantly self-centered. I share, post, like and comment online because, at the end of the day, I want people to perceive me in a certain way. Even though I take pride in my appearance and constantly want to look my best, by allowing terrible photos (usually posted by friends) on my timeline demonstrates that I don’t take myself too seriously and can laugh at myself. On the other hand, not so jokingly, selfie queen Kim Kardashian admits “I was always obsessed with selfies” even using a selfie on the cover of her new book Selfish.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 12.27.36 pm
Kim’s selfie featuring on the cover of Selfish. Source

Shockingly enough, more people were killed taking selfies in 2015 than from shark attacks. If you’re willing to die taking a selfie, it damn well better be a brilliant photo! I for one, cannot imagine a point in time where I’d risk my life for a picture… those social media likes ARE NOT WORTH IT!

Not to mention ‘36% of selfies are altered or digitally enhanced’, representing even further the narcissistic nature of our society. Individuals are able to easily download apps in order to brighten and darken images, remove acne and facial scars, whiten teeth, make your hair look shinier and god forbid someone uses a different filter and mess with their overall Instagram aesthetic. I even have friends who wait for ‘prime Insta time’ to upload an image in order to get the highest amount of likes, even deleting the image if it doesn’t get enough likes in the first few minutes. As suggested by Courtney Seiter “A Like is the wordless nod of support in a load room.”

If I haven’t convinced you enough, let the following short video illustrate all the thoughts that flow through your mind when uploading a sharing a selfie on social media.

Whilst selfies are prevalent (or seem to be within society), they aren’t memories and shouldn’t be used to replace them or take away from the importance of a moment. A memory is so much more valuable than a selfie 100 times over, so every once in awhile look up from your camera and actually enjoy the moment.


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