But first, let me take a selfie

September 24th, 2015


Those of us who are part of Generation Y are often berated for our dependence on the Internet for basically everything we do.


It is said we don’t know how to open a book or dial a phone number. Apparently, we are so addicted to Facebook and Twitter, we aren’t able to function without them.


Now, I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. Don’t get me wrong, I know many of my peers cannot make it through a single class without checking their text messages or refreshing their Twitter feeds. We’ve all been there, but I will leave you the right to pass your own judgment on the issue.


That said, there is one supposedly self-centered aspect of our generation that I find very compelling: selfies.


Currently defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media,” selfies dominate Instagram and Facebook.


While many will dismiss selfies as a mark of self-centeredness, which may very well be true, that does not make them any less intriguing to me.


A 2014 Today/AOL body image survey revealed that 65 percent of teenaged girls felt taking selfies and distributing them through social media actually boosted their self-esteem.


As selfies are posted online, they will generally receive positive feedback through favorites on Twitter or likes on Facebook, the subjects of the social self-portraits receive an instantaneous confidence boost.


And, if you think about your adolescent years, can’t you remember times when you really, really needed that?


Personally, I’m addicted to celebrity selfies, which give us an inside look into the lives of people we wish we knew, but probably never will.


Not to mention, celebrity selfies are awesome to follow during award shows, such as Sunday night’s Emmys.


Beyond the fascination concerning selfies in the present day, there is also the future to consider.


Just think, when historians are studying us in 200 years or more, they will have an extreme amount of material to work with.


Almost every aspect of life as we currently know it will be documented for future generations.  They will have a perfect picture of everything concerning life as we presently know it, from fashion to pop culture.


If that’s not enough to convince you, think about a more personal benefit.


As someone who keeps nearly every photograph I’ve ever taken, I, for one, am thrilled that my horrendously awkward and humiliating adolescence will be chronicled for my children.


When they come home from Junior High after being teased on the bus, they can look back on pictures of their mother with full on metal-mouth, wearing an obscene amount of pink eyeshadow and probably four different shirts at one time.


When they experience their first heartbreak in high school, they can find comfort in making fun of me at 15 years old, wearing ties over t-shirts like Avril Lavigne, circa 2001. That is, if they know who she is then.


And when they look back on their pictures from that time period  in their own lives and laugh at themselves, they can remember where they inherited their horrible fashion sense.


In all, while our generation may be seen as self-centered and egotistical due to our use of the Internet and social media, I’m not concerned.


After I finish writing this column, I will proceed to turn off the electronic devices I apparently cannot live without and open a book many think I am unable to read. But first, let me take a selfie.