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Anne Dolinschek
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Generation Selfie

07 May 2014, 08:31

In the last year, the selfie pandemic burst onto the scene we call everyday life. I’m sure everyone from your little sister to your great grandmother knows the term. The human race has always been self-absorbed, but not to this degree. Or am I wrong? Have we always been this self-involved, but only now do we have the technology to express ourselves in this fashion? Or is it merely the fact that our narcissism is now publically acceptable? Or maybe it’s a combination of both. You cannot open a social media page without seeing a selfie, or a half dozen of them, and I will be lying if I said that I don’t indulge in a selfie from time-to-time myself.

The truth is; I hate taking selfies. The angle is usually wrong or I only get part of myself in the frame, it’s just a disaster which does not make me feel better about myself at all – and that’s what selfies are supposed to do right? Make me feel like the most beautiful person, ever (that was sarcastic, by the way). Well, cellphone manufacturers have addressed that little problem with the front camera, but  I still don’t like taking selfies all that often.

By encouraging, what I call the selfie generation, to seek validation from strangers and friends online is just strange. I suppose that it was a natural progression from social media where most people post their woes in the form of status updates to get attention and also document their lives by way of posting pictures and seeking ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ which validates their lives. Although I am guilty of documenting most of my life via pictures and posting it to my social media accounts, I do not believe in posting my problems all over the internet. I have family or ‘real life friends’ to discuss those with. 

More and more we see the trend of people turn to their online friends for validation, advice as well as pity. How sad is it that we’re raising a generation that would rather keep their heads down and buried in their phones giving a running commentary on their day, than keeping their chins up, feel the sun on their faces and be in the moment.

I hope that we will someday go back to a simpler (tech) time, when phones were used for texting and making calls. A time when we will again meet up with our friends to catch up face-to-face and share memories, instead of Tweeting and WhatsApping each other updates.

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