The president has made a cameo in a few. The ChainSmokers music video about them still has a strong viewership online. Celebrities and models are taking them. It is popular among both men and women. Even grandmas are catching on and taking some. Instagram is flooded with them. Several cell phone applications are dedicated to them. So, what is this fad that has made the cell phone’s front-facing camera practically useful? It is the selfie.
In 2013, the world took so many selfies that Oxford English Dictionary named “selfie” its word of the year. Now, two years later, the selfie seems a bit played out. So, why are we still taking them? Believe it or not, the selfie is here to stay.
It is kind of hard to not see people standing, sitting, posing and smiling with their camera or cell phone in hand, arm stretched out, trying to snap a picture of themselves. Before they decided to snap that picture, they seemed to be engaged in activities that would be considered appropriate for public places. They were walking through the park, eating at restaurants, sitting on benches and leaning up against walls. These people were all doing something at least halfway normal looking, until they decided to awkwardly took a picture of themselves.
Whether they are only visible for a few seconds on Snapchat, posted on Twitter or on someone’s Facebook photo albums, selfies are cool. Well, maybe not that cool, but they are relevant in our social media saturated, pop-culture society. Instagram and Snapchat were practically built for selfies.
People love themselves, and that might be the reason there are so many selfies posted to social media. Our society is becoming so dependent on social media, social networks and viral videos that these social platforms are the only things people pay attention to anymore, and selfies are the majority of what we are scrolling through on our social media timelines. We have become obsessed with selfies. We like our selfies, our friend’s selfies and even Hollywood celebrities’ selfies.
During the 2014 Oscars, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres practically revolutionized the selfie, squeezing about 10 other celebrities into frame. DeGeneres made Twitter history while simultaneously creating the group selfie.
Now, Instagram’s walls are packed with photos of groups of guys and girls, couples and families with their faces pressed together all desperately trying to cram themselves into one picture. The social media monster has inflated with multitudes of selfies. These social platforms could be used for so much more, but for now, selfies are getting the majority of the face time.
People will continue to take an alarming amount of selfies. They are easy to shoot, weird, narcissistic and oddly addicting. No matter how silly selfies sound, they remain extremely popular, wildly self-indulgent and fun. It does not matter if you are at a party, bar or restaurant, you are bound to witness or take part in a selfie. They have become a right of passage on social media networks and a sort of ritual in pop-culture. They are infamous, obnoxious and ubiquitous. Call them what you want, but the selfie is not going anywhere, so get used to it. No matter where you are, who you are with, or what you are doing, take a moment to take that selfie.