Love Thy Selfie

Since we now can take and post instant pictures of ourselves online, have we become more self-preoccupied?

Not necessarily, according to Grant Barrett, co-host of “A Way with Words” on KPBS radio. In an interview last December, he identified selfie as one of 2013’s new words. People have always been self-absorbed, according to Barrett. Now it’s just more evident.

Who posts the most selfies and where? Nearly half of all selfies are posted on Facebook and the median age of self-snapping posters is 23. More women college students post selfies than men. The city with the most selfies on Instagram is Makati, Philippines and city with the second-most is New York.

It’s not at all surprising that younger people lead the photos-of-me pack. They use social media more, they’re having fun, they’re showing off to one another for sex or romance or just because. And let’s face it, no pun intended, they have better-looking faces and bodies to show off! Most people under 25 look good in burlap sacks in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Nor is it surprising that those whose work depends on physical appearance post more photos of themselves. Actors, models, physical fitness buffs have always loomed large on billboards, magazine pages, paparazzi viewfinders. I’m getting used to seeing photos of my yoga teachers demonstrating poses or new forms of yoga, such as shavasana in a trapeze or down dogging on a paddleboard.

I wonder if there is any correlation between age and the size/closeness of ourselves in our selfies? The older we get, the less inclined we are to stick our wrinkled noses on the lens or open the aperture to bare midriffs. But we can still look reasonably okay as far away as our arms will take us standing near the oldest tree in the world, or even better, the oldest person.Monkey selfie

To me, the fun part of selfies is sharing what we are doing, alone or with others. Exploring a new restaurant, city or country. Reuniting with family or old friends. Celebrating birthdays and other special days. Taking in a sunset, welcoming a new dog or cat.

Recently I knew three couples who don’t know each other who were in Paris at the same time. Sure enough, there they all were on Facebook, smiling and smooching in selfie close ups, the Eifel Tower rising from their heads.

I have other FB friends who seldom, if ever, post selfies, preferring jokes, hi-tech advice, cat and dog videos, political opinions, interesting articles and creative work. These are all good too, and maybe the fact that they don’t have to post selfies is a good thing. They care more about the life of the mind than they do outward appearances. Their ideas are more apt to help the world than one more shot of us smelling flowers.

Or are they? Maybe our selfies are a way of reminding ourselves and others that we are here, every day. Every moment of every day, no matter how small.

Quick! I see a photo op. Good light, the right angle … click!

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headwindjournal

About me and head wind journal A head wind is a wind that slows us down. Stops our forward motion, at least temporarily. During this lull, I feel the mind breezes. Like clouds above the ocean, they may take shape or drift away. I sailed into the blogging world in January of 2013. At the time, I was still working as a freelance writer, that is, writing for clients and the local newspaper. So I set up head wind journal as an outlet for my own essay writing – and for the photos I take while walking around. It’s been fun, more fun than working!

4 thoughts on “Love Thy Selfie”

  1. Age in the Selfie Age! Few people I know around my age are major selfie posters. Or, is it selfie posers?? Anyway, the selfie phenomenon does seem to represent a reaching out – “Hey, remember me/us?”

    Sandy Woodthorpe Technical & Marketing Communications Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Fun, good read, Linda! I laughed outloud. Your writing is SO captivating, I think.

    I am one of ‘those’ who dislike Facebook, et al., and STILL appreciated the blog.

    Thanks. Today I’m off to help a friend with surgery to repair her broken kneecap. Did I tell you? She was walking her small dog with a neighbor, walking her son’s LARGE, rambunctious dog. Well…neighbor broke her wrist, Marie broke her kneecap! She had surgery Tuesday…she asked me how I felt and because I feel MUCH better than she does, I will go up to help her bend her leg!!

    Later….Jo xxoo

  3. Great article . . . but where did you find the pic . . . and is it a selfie? Hilarious!! Gotta go. I have a selfie op. Can’t miss. Me first thing in the morning, bed head and all. Hugs. Your Sis

  4. Great article . . . but where did you find the pic . . . and is it a selfie? Hilarious!! Gotta go. I have a selfie op. Can’t miss. Me first thing in the morning, bed head and all. Hugs. Your Sis

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