“CAN YOU guys help me pick a filter? I don’t know if I should go with XX Pro or Valencia? I wanna look tan. What should my caption be? I want it to be clever. How about ‘Livin with my bitches, hash tag LIVE?” I only got 10 likes in the last 5 minutes. Do you think I should take it down? Let me take another selfie.” – The Chainsmokers
It’s long been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and in 2014 the selfie is mightier than humility. The mere fact that there’s an entire song dedicated to selfies and Instagram is astonishing and disheartening at the same time. From fad to obsession, selfies have taken over.
When you Google the term “selfies linked to” the top three answers the search engine comes up with are narcissism, self-esteem, and depression. None of those are issues that anyone would desire to have. Psychology Today has even gone as far as coining the term “selfitis,” defined as the inflammation of one’s ego, as evidenced by taking too many selfies and goes on to call it a mental disorder. Time even picked up a Daily Mirror report about a teen who spent 10 hours a day in the mirror taking selfies and tried to commit suicide when he realized he couldn’t take the perfect selfie.
It’s long been said that the pen is mightier than the sword and in 2014 the selfie is mightier than humility.
People seem to hope that Instagram will solve all of their problems. It will lead to their discovery, whether that means fifteen minutes of fame or finding a new mate. I know a couple that met on Instagram and are in a very committed, loving relationship. Instagram is also where Jennifer Lopez and Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett’s significant others trolled for other mates and seemingly ruined their relationships with what first started out as admiring other people’s selfies.
But this addiction doesn’t only afflict those of us who are seemingly normal or thought of as anonymous- celebrities are just as in on the selfie craze as anyone else. Everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Beyoncé have gotten in on the action. They are two of the most photographed women in the world. And newsflash: we don’t need any selfies, we already know what you look like.
It would appear that we are living in a society where, regardless of fame or anonymity, we are all starved for attention and seek it out in selfies and “likes” and it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. Instagram was purchased for 1 billion (yes like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers) dollars. The now cliché irony of the situation is that social media makes us less social and if we were smiling more in public instead of at our camera lens we might meet new people who actually “like” us instead of our photos.
So please, let’s stop with all of the selfies.