Innovations have the power to change the world forever. As we continue our embrace of the new age of technology, we must first consider one piece that has revolutionized our relationships, communication, and work: the selfie.
The “selfie” is a photo of a person in a specific background and/or with specific people taken by one who is also in the photo. Made popular by Apple’s decision to put front-facing cameras in their phones and other products, the selfie has become the new way of dictating one’s experiences and surroundings through social media settings like Instagram and Twitter. No longer is the picture taken to soak of the remnants of an environment or experience, but to immerse one’s self into it, as the “selfie” wouldn’t be complete without one’s face in it.
Such developments led to a pop culture outbreak. In 2014, the New York duo called The Chainsmokers released a song titled #Selfie, which collected over three million views, countless parodies like this one from Youtube user thecomputernerd01, and debuted at #55 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Selfies are clearly an accepted form of photography now, as it only takes one scroll down an Instagram feed to see photos of friends and their self portraits. Kim Kardashian, model known for her show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, released a book titled Selfish, which as it stands for, is a collection of her best selfies. New technology such as the selfie stick peaked in sales as people hoped to create bigger and better selfies. And there was the famous Oscars selfie, complete with celebrities such as Ellen and Bradley Cooper.
No doubt about it, selfies are here to stay. Whether it’s in a Snapchat story or an Instagram post, what we post on social media reveals what we value and who we are; additionally, it is important not to judge the selfie-taking teen. It takes a lot of confidence to post a picture of yourself on social media, especially with people who would rather tear someone down than to look at their own flaws. Selfies have become a source of confidence for many people around the world, as they are given the opportunity to have fun with their look, dabble in photography, and show the world who they are.
In a personal interview, photographer Jerry Scott says,”As a visual artist, I find self portraiture (selfies) to be a great craft for that individual. They can learn how certain angles and lighting can make a great photo once gotten used to and physically studied. I personally believe that using "apps" aren't all that bad, if used properly. The individual is simply expressing their emotion and inner, visual aesthetic to be creative. A fun process. I use what is called "textures" (another meaning for filters) in most of my photographs to create a unique and visually pleasing effect.”
Maybe the moments we value are represented in a hashtag or a filter, but isn’t that better than not valuing moments at all? As selfies continue to be the recognized standard of fulfillment after attending an event or meeting someone significant, it’s important to remember the history of sharing moments. Whether it was in a polaroid or grainy film reel, having something tangible to equate to a memory has been around for years, only this time, it’s complete with instant posting, killer poses (my go-to has been the slightly raised eyebrow look), and the knowledge that you’re sharing your culture and community with a global audience.
What do you think about selfies? Are you a fan or a foe? Let us know in the comments below!
Julia Schemmer is a senior from Norco High School, where she participates in five AP classes, is the president of the Female Empowerment Club and Link Crew, and publicist of Chinese Culture Club, American Cancer Society, and the FIDM Fashion Club. Aside from managing the communications at Her Culture, she is the founder of She Speaks Media and The Face of Cancer, editor for The Prospect Magazine, editor in chief of Motivation Daily, and contributor for the Huffington Post. Her future endeavors consist of becoming an international human rights lawyer, foreign correspondent, diplomat, and finally seeing the day where Leonardo DiCaprio wins an Oscar.