Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Selfie… Please Make it Stop.

           I’m home sick with Ebola (actually just the cough from hell, but Ebola is way more fun to say), so naturally what else is there to do but sit on my computer. I have been trying to watch Clerks for the umpteenth time, but my Netflix connection keeps timing out. I wasted some time on Facebook, and that was about as boring as repeatedly poking a rock with a stick. It did bring up some ire about something that grinds my gears on multiple levels. Can we talk about how annoying the concept of the “selfie” is and the narcissism of the people who are regularly making them?
Now THAT is a self-portrait. Man Ray.
            First of all, “selfie” is NOT a word. Don’t believe me? Type it in a Word document. See that little red line that pops up underneath it? That is proof that is made up nonsense. Like smurfage or pafoegsiuf. Not words. It is clearly an attempt at a coy, cutesy, abbreviation of the more substantive “self-portrait.” The idea of a self-portrait even implies a more substantive media, not something taken in a wink of time with a telephone.

            At best, I am an amateur photographer. When I think about the times I am inspired to take photographs, two come to mind: for posterity, so that I may remember a moment, or to show a different view of something normally seen. Since “selfies” are a regularly taken picture of someone’s face, the different view concept is a wash. It must be for memories then. “Remember that time I ate a piece of chicken?” “Hey remember when I rode in that car and took a picture of myself with sunglasses on?” “Remember that time I was in the bathroom?” “Oh snap, remember that time I was wasted and decided everyone should see what a hot mess I was?” “Remember when I was sitting at my desk?” Right. Events to be cherished for a lifetime.
            Do people not understand that we don’t want to look at pictures of their face all the time? I don’t want to look at my own face that much. It’s not particularly interesting. It’s on my head and facilitates communication and eating. Why would I want to see you in a car? Or eating a piece of chicken? Or sitting at your desk at work? I DON’T. Believe it or not, I don’t care what you are doing at every moment of every day. And I most definitely do not need a photo journal of it. I’m sick of your face! I see these repeat offenders with their “Look at me!” attitude and just wonder, how is your life that empty? In that moment you chose to take a picture of yourself doing something not the least bit interesting, you could have seen a bird fly by. You might have witnessed an act of kindness between less narcissistic people. You could have paid more attention to your driving and not rear-ended the person in front of you!

The people of Instagram don't seem to understand that ANYONE
in the world can see their photos. I deleted her face. OOPS.
The bathroom shots are really my favorite though. I might be inclined to take a picture of myself in front of a monument, mountain, castle, work of art etc. (again, those would be for the purpose of memory). In a bathroom? What is so incredible about a bathroom? Stalls are picturesque, I know. And that smell you often encounter in public bathrooms – too bad you can’t encapsulate THAT in your photo. And no one ever wants to forget the moment in the bathroom when you realize there are no paper towels left. Really, though, “I just took a dump, let me stop and take a picture of myself in the mirror.” That shit happens.