Selfie Me

“From where I’m sitting, I AM the centre of the Universe!”

― Sebastyne Young

 

.

Andy Warhol was famous for saying that in the future we will all have our 15 minutes of fame. Well my friends the future is now and many people are already famous inside their own heads.

I am talking about that phenomena that’s sweeping the globe:

The Selfie.

selfie gif

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone, digital camera or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

I see more and more people doing this… MM calls it “selfing”.

And not just adorable little blondes with cutesy pink phones…people from all walks of life, actors, artists, men on the street, ladies of the evening, cats, babies and even presidents and leaders of people.

How did we get so obsessed with our own image?

The first selfies; born out of “necessity” for most of us.  Since the advent of social media and as more and more of us are becoming social online we need a profile pic.  It’s not something anyone really planned, it sort of just happened. We could blame Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook who thought of the world as one big yearbook with a sea of faces with which one could compare against each other and judge.  The selfie does predate Facebook and MySpace, where the term was first generally used.  Taking a photograph of oneself started with the invention of photography. It has only been lately that it has become an obsession for some, a joke to others. Whatever it is–it has become a part of our social landscape and our common global culture.

I am mysterious and sily
I am mysterious and silly and my table is messy.

Speaking for myself; I took my first one in the Autumn of 2012. I “needed” an updated Gravatar for this very same blog.  I was hesitant to ask anyone to take my picture because it sounded so weird and self-indulgent. ( Of course I am not one of those people.)  I snapped a few shots myself with my webcam, it was so easy. We are humans and social media is a place of social interaction between us.  Our faces convey so much to each other, so much emotion, feeling.  Many of our electronic communications are littered with emoticons.   Mere words cannot give the entire picture.

I am human
I am human

We have a need for each other.  A need to meet others to express thoughts and ideas. To be understood. To reach out and make that connection. To share ourselves with others.  Running the gambit of emotions; happiness to sadness and back again… from the amazing to the mundane.  We have a need to belong and to be looked upon favorably by our peers.   Selfies can be fun.  Some are very inventive and creative.  I don’t think they are necessarily a bad thing or a sign of the moral decay of our civilization and subsequent doom. I think they can be empowering for people and a way to boost self esteem.  There are  groups that embrace the idea of the selfie and encourage people to submit their own self portraits 365 days a year.  I have explored some of the submitted images. Some of it is quite artistic; there are talented photographers out there snapping pics of themselves every day.

Whoo-hoo!
Whoo-hoo!

The internet has put so much of our lives on display for one another. This puts the viewer of such display in the judges seat. It is tempting for anyone to judge given some of what we see and it’s easy to assume some find themselves on the short end of the comparison.  People’s opinions of each other unfortunately are swayed by appearance; the appearance of wealth, youth and good looks…the appearance of happiness….no one wants to look like a loser, or old or fat or bald or whatever.   Simply put, we care what other think about us and this very human truism is being played out on a grand scale throughout the digital world.

We call them selfies, we take them of ourselves but do they truly reflect our real selves?  I have seen quite a few of them and rarely are they realistic.

 

I Work out!

The selfie is a way for many to become the self they have always wanted to be.  I googled “selfie fails” and found a plethora of examples of Photoshop gone wrong. Men and women with obviously unrealistic bodies and faces, freakishly thin waists, bulging chests and completely unlined faces.   The pull is strong to want to doctor ones photos. I myself I am guilty of erasing a line or two here and there.  Who doesn’t want to be younger; to look 25 again? Who doesn’t want the perfect body and the perfect life?  We see them all the time…these people with the perfect everything.

The perfection hype we buy into is sold to us by the media.  The Joneses we are struggling to keeping up with don’t even exist.

The perfect job, mate and kids, the perfect parties and friends. These people go on exciting and exotic vacations with all the other beautiful people living perfect lives. We know this because we see it in their selfies. The ones they are nice enough to share with us so we can “like” them and comment; tell them how wonderful they are and how young they really do look. All accompanied by smiley faces and hearts.

o-WOMAN-SELFIE-570
LOVE ME!!!

 

Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?

Andy Warhol
.
And we like them every time they put up a new one, every week even if it’s every day. Some people change theirs constantly; living a life in front of the tiny screen. Every minor event documented and accompanied by the same needy almost pleading stare. Just like anything else selfies can be addictive and perhaps that in itself is a sign of trouble–a cry for help.

sexy- selfie  -fails-chocolate-sauce
Watch out ladies it’s “Hot” Chocolate!

I also saw some other types of selfies on my googling adventure into this odd and narcissistic world. There were the funny ones, the amazing ones, the clever and cute ones, the silly duck faces and the ones with the bizarre backgrounds. But there were some sad ones as well. I was stricken by the number of photos taken by women, apparently mothers in bathrooms and other places with big mirrors posing for suggestive selfies in front of their small children.

...help
…help

I am a bit naive but this shocked me. It came off as desperate, so sad and lonely. And then I began to look at all the selfies in a different  light. Maybe they are not  just a sign of our collective narcissism and self-obsession, maybe there is something deeper; an underlying anxiety of separation, a feeling we are losing ourselves, the dissolution of the family unit. We are spending longer hours in the office, on the road, increasingly we are spending more and more time apart from each other.

Like me!
Like me!

We need to be accepted and understood. We need to be connected and have others think well of us.  Unfortunately this need to be liked and accepted maybe envied or idolized has become an obsession for some.

And maybe…just maybe, if we can have the perfect selfie we can get a little piece of that perfect life too…

As with everything else; nothing is all black or white…

…points to ponder…

.

 

 Have yourself a wonderful day!

Nancy

 

 .

 “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

~Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jean Baker in 1946, photographed by Andre de Dienes.
Norma Jean Baker in 1946, photographed by Andre de Dienes.
Related articles and items of interest

 

365 Days The Challenge: Take one self portrait each day for a year.   (Fickr group)

 

The selfie  (wikipedia.org)

 *

THE SELFIE SYNDROME (feeldesain.com)

*

 Scientists link selfies to narcissism, addiction and mental illness  (trueactivist.com)

Shameless Self-promoting by Me

eyes-sbi

“All writers are lunatics!”

~Cornelia Funke

***

This may come as a surprise to some of you by what I write here but in real life I am a quiet and reserved person. For much of my life I have been accused of being shy.   I do prefer to stay in the background, carefully observing my surroundings. I am not much of a talker, definitely not a speaker of any sort.  I am however a writer and at times writers need to be loudmouths to ever be heard.  Networking and making connections is essential. This has been bothering me. I would prefer to stay in the background writing away, visiting with my blog and Facebook friends, never venturing outside my comfort zone, but venture I must and so here it is.

I have been invited to write as a guest on another blog called Share Your Articles. It is managed by a new friend of mine. We seem to see eye to eye on such things as self promotion and I have taken him up on his offer. I will be contributing a new and unique article from time to time depending on how much time I have.  My priority remains with you; in this blog, My Life in Color.  I will continue to pour my heart out here…haha lucky you!

I have checked it out and there are many other competent writers there and I recommend them highly. You can find a link to the site here. I hope to see you there. Please come out and support your friendly neighborhood blogger; namely me.  I would truly appreciate it.

My first article is called New Eyes. It is a hopeful one and I am on my best behavior, at least I will be for now… (wink-wink)

 

While I am on the subject of self-promotion; I would like to tell you about my 100% All Organic Strawberryindigo page on Facebook. I know many of you are not on Facebook but give it a try. We could chat there. I write some odds and ends, little bits, quotes and  I post interesting articles and links to subjects pertaining to the environment, gardening, social issues and fun stuff too. I am still me being myself over there and my heart is definitely on my sleeve. It is a bit more relaxed and I certainly let my hair down. Please stop by and pay me a visit if you are so inclined. Feel free to post something of your own. I am pretty much on my own over there, it is sort of cavernous and a tad lonely. I would love to hear what you think of it.

Before I sign off take a gander at my new revved up About the Author page. It was about time. It had remained unchanged since the beginning and needed updating. As you might have noticed I have also updated my Gravatar. It is me, older, more wrinkled but happier.

Well enough about me…how are you? How is everything going? Please let me know. I also wanted to add that I have a new email and if you want to contact me privately for whatever reason; drop me a line at Strawberryindigo@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, 

Strawberryindigo.

strawberry smile

 

 

9-29-13

UPDATE:  I will no  longer be writing for that other site.  The person who runs the site became very intrusive in my online life (sort of a creepy internet stalker) and so I thought it best to erase my presence there.  I am a trusting sort I suppose, but I will not allow this experience to change that.

What follows is NEW EYES

 

facebook engancha
facebook engancha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Eyes

 

It was one of those bright mornings that come after a night of hard rain. Drops of moisture decorate the scarlet-colored Maple leaves on the tree outside my window, shining like diamonds in the first few rays of the new day’s sun. I have always loved mornings such as these.  The streets have been washed clean by the rain; everything is so fresh and new. The chickadees outside my window sing an expectant song tinged with sweet exuberance.

It is just another morning just like many others. The newspaper arrives just as it always does with a dull thud at the front door. My morning coffee is the same brand I’ve been drinking for months but somehow it tastes better on this day.

Today will be a most wondrous day” I tell myself out loud. I am surprised at hearing my voice speaking to myself this way. My voice sounds hopeful, younger somehow, sweeter.

 

I gaze into the mirror; the very same reflection returns my gaze. The same rounded face with the same sleepy half-lidded stare stares right back, but somehow my too- brown brown eyes look unusually brighter, almost optimistic. I smile and am rewarded with another smile that appears almost beaming.

 

It is as if I am seeing the world with new eyes. New eyes flecked with glimmering green; new eyes that see promise in a seemingly just typical day.

Perhaps this day is not so typical in a string of so many so typical days. Perhaps something special will happen today. Perhaps it is more than just the sunshine or the birds that are making me feel this way.  Perhaps it is my new eyes.

Could it be these new eyes are seeing the endless possibilities that lie open before me? Could it be it is these new eyes that see that the long road of life’s difficulties could be opportunities in disguise?…or maybe it’s the way I’ve been looking at things without ever truly seeing, perhaps my new-found hope came from my inside and these new eyes are just the old ones peering at life from a different angle; from a new direction. Perhaps this wondrous day that lies before me is just like the string of others that came before it?

Perhaps it isn’t new eyes I have, just a new way of seeing.

 

Peace and Love to You,

Strawberryindigo.

***Links and Stuff***

New Eyes (The first post by me on Share Your Articles)

Share Your Articles (The blog)

100% All Organic Strawberryindigo  (My Facebook page)

About the Author (that’s me)