Many individuals I have come across in society try being defined by an invisible tag of appreciation for whatever they are, whatever they look like, whatever they have achieved or whatever they intend to do in life.
Predominantly how an individual looks has superseded everything else.
And what could be much better than you appreciating yourself (as they say – love yourself). I don’t wish to generalise when I say that sometimes we do feel desperation or helplessness when nobody appreciates us, and we land up applauding ourselves to feel a little better.
That’s how I believe the concept of a selfie first came in, where one can be so self-obsessed that they take a Kodak moment and then manifest it to cyberspace. Now, let me analyse the concept of a selfie a little bit.
With the growing availability of the internet and its access to everybody’s personal mobile phones, every being creates a different “I” than the real “I” through a selfie, and it immediately reaches out to the people in the e-world with the self-proclaimed statement, ‘hey, look at me!’
I fail to understand what difference it makes for someone else as to what we look like through an image of ourselves? But no, we are individuals, and from what I understand of people, it’s in our human nature to massage our egos – we like it when people shower us with love. That’s how a selfie worked in the first place, and it is here to stay.
In the context of today’s digitized world, Maslow’s model can be easily replaced by a hierarchy of “virtual” needs – the upper-most self-actualization can be easily replaced by a selfie.
The access to the web world and the emergence of the selfie has changed the whole dynamic of branding oneself and reaching out to people. How I look, what I am, and an unsaid expectation as to “like me” is depicted in the same.
That said, I also believe that taking a selfie is a smart art, and if done well, can do wonders for oneself – may that be a common man or a celebrity or a politician.
Obama taking a selfie with a common man highlights his nature of being connected to his citizens and his ability to gel with the masses.
Celebrities connecting with poor/underprivileged people and doing philanthropy and exhibiting that work on e-space with a selfie puts them in good books of the fans. Selfies in the dating space help prospective lovers know each other better and understand the equation of attraction. I believe that it also helps in decoding the psyche of an individual – adventurous, art lover, fashionista, animal lover, etc. And so a subtle balance can be achieved to keep a good impression.
But I guess every good has a not so good dimension to it.
The latest being taking a selfie at funerals. How can one get so inhuman to even take a pic like that near a dead person? People need to think twice before doing such an act and portraying it on their social media platforms.
Selfies will be wonderful when authentic identities with real people at a real time are seen and not at the cost of offending anyone. But the I, My, Myself trauma haunting everyone all the time on social media can be devastating for an individual, because after all, it is fake happiness created from the expected admiration in the e-space.
And we should also think about the repercussions of such selfies. If there in case a negative feedback or something below expectation, then the individual has a tough time dealing with criticism or accepting it. Basically the real you or the perceived you or the combination of interior and exterior you – is apparently not in the selfie. We may be cheating ourselves in this whole madness of “please like me, I am trying to pose the best”.
A selfie though has achieved a unique position in e-space with its name-inclusion in the official dictionary. It has changed the entire game of individual marketing. After all, we all are social animals. We need people, we need love. A selfie can keep us connected with our family miles away, and we can share our happiness with our loved ones to whom we cannot reach out. A selfie to some extent has helped people know each other very well because our offline and web perceptions are very different. Selfie and the obsession with it will take its due turn in coming times with emerging technologies and human ideas but what we need to understand is the implication of using or misusing it.