Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A grandmother's view of selfies

The first 'selfie' was taken by one, Robert Cornelius, in 1839. Although, it wasn't quit as convenient as raising a arm with a small object at the end, that with a small click, you've got a photo. He had to set up the camera, uncover the lens, run and sit in front of it, wait a few minutes, and then run back to the camera and cover the lens. If a photographer did that, they really must have wanted that portrait. That's a lot of work. If it doesn't turn out, then ya got to do it all over again. In most cases it didn't turn out, so why bother.There are very few clear selfies from the early years of photography.
Way back then it was called a self-portrait, and it was work to achieve. I think Robert would be pleased to see how it has evolved to something so easy. Like me, I'd hope he'd also be puzzled to it's importance in one's daily live. I'd hope he'd be appalled at the abuses it also has brought to the surface that literally slaps us right in the face. After all he did it for the art of photography. Today, it's done for the self-indulgence of one's ego, no art involved or even considered. Just ask Kim Kadashian, as she releases her book, 'Selfie'. Which is what else? Selfies of her famous face. Personally, if I don't see another photo of her face, her behind or husband, it would be too soon. Unfortunately, young people copy and admire her, and so much want to be her, at least in the world of selfies. 
I've unfriended individuals from my social media sites, who over indulge in selfies. Because, honestly, it's just weird and boring. Because, I don't give a wit what they look like in the grocery line, or while they wait for their kids to get out of school, or whatever else is going on in their life that they feel requires a selfie. TMI, goes beyond what I'm thinking.  
Don't get me wrong, if a close friend has changed her hair color and sends me a selfie, announcing, "What the fuck have I done!? I've made a mistake! I don't look like my pic anymore. I'm destine to be alone!!" Okay, I accept that, especially if it comes to me directly. Everything else is too stupid to put out to the universe known as the internet, as well as ridiculous. It makes the individual not only look bad in the picture, but obsessively embarrassingly needy.
There is a whole psychology behind, (what I consider to be annoyingly bizarre), phenomenon. What many in the profession of digging around in ones brain-matter has concluded, it has to do with self-worth or self-value. Yes, someone actually paid someone with a PHD to figure this out. Just ask any baby boomer and we could have told them that for free. It's pretty obvious to me or anyone who has a ounce of intelligence. Selfies are all about ones self-esteem.. 
The back lash of seeking out affirmation in selfies, is of course the negative and the awful abuses. Not everyone gets that boost to they're delicate ego, by way of the selfie. I've never taken a selfie, because it would most definitely not boost my ego, but send it crashing down into a deep abyss of obvious age lines. There is a lot of mean people out there, who jump on the back of the negative and go to town on someone who simply relies too much on the affirmation of a self-portrait. It's like riding a wild a pony into a burning barn. After all, those individuals are cowards, because they hid behind social media to dole out their particular brand of cruelty. It's easy to be mean when your not face to face with someone. Then there are the really nasty abuses. Young girls thinking they can trust their 16yr old hormone driven love interest with a provocative photo. Sadly, the fall out of those situations often are, the love interest can't be trusted and just sent out a group message to the football team with the photo attached. Who in turn send it out to the basketball team, hockey team and all points in their young lives. In most states it can lead to an arrest and the shame attached to a innocent girl moves to even a wider audience. The reactions, fall out and trickle down affect of such selfies have been known to be horrifically life altering. In someways, for all concerned, it will impact their lives forever.
Did we raise a bunch individuals who have such low self-esteem, that they have to be constantly getting affirmation that the color of dress they picked out, has to have the approval of the world to know if green works. In my day, we just flew with it. I was a hippy, so no one really cared anyways. Thank goodness. Not that it would have mattered to me. I can't imagine living my life, searching out that self-worth by posting a image of myself so that hundreds, (if there are hundreds on my social media site) to see that whatever I'm posting in a desperate search for approval. I'd wonder if they'd even get it? What would it change? I guess my outfit? Hardly..Besides, I find the whole idea of it exhausting.
I'll stay away from selfies not just for now, but forever. The internet is forever. Phones get hacked and pictures get stolen. So staying out of that realm for me, is the safest and best thing to do.

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