Tuesday, April 8, 2014

but first....let me take a selfie

For those of you who know me, you know social media plays a fairly substantial part in my life as I work in marketing and understand the importance it plays in my industries new landscape.  I am also a writer and social media and writing kind of go hand in hand.

But what you probably don't know is that I struggle daily with what I personally think about social media and the role it plays in everyday life.

My latest struggle is with what is called the "selfie."  As I scroll through Facebook posts and tweets and images on Instagram, I find the images I see the most of, by far, are these selfies.
  • There's a girl from high school supposedly at a concert, but I only know this by the comment posted along with the image because the picture itself is of her and her friend's face. 
  • There's someone I know at opening day of Royals baseball. Or at least I think so, because all I see are her and her friend's face. She does have on a Royals hat...so I guess I'll believe it. 
  • Wait, there's the neighbor on vacation in Mexico. I love pictures of Mexico. Oh bummer...instead its just a picture of her face at dinner, her face on the beach, her face in the hotel room.. God could there be more pictures of her face?

I don't get it.  I don't understand the fascination of taking picture after picture of your own likeness. And not even including enough of the surrounding landscape in the picture for us to actually verify you went anywhere other than your own living room.

Andy Warhol (one of my favorite's and oddly enough a man fascinated with his own self image) once said in the future everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. I'm convinced these selfies are fulfilling this prophecy. Society has produced an era of celebrity but only a few have the talent and drive and brains to be a celebrity because of something they have done or created. So those who can't write or draw or create have found there own form of celebrity. Showing the world pictures of their faces over and over and over again.

I can't help but think these people lead lives that are very much about themselves and no one else. And that makes me sad.  It makes me sad they pay to go to concerts or find an afternoon to attend a baseball game or are one of the lucky few on a beach somewhere and instead of seeing the beautiful around them, all they think about is how they can get the best picture of themselves.

Forty years from now they'll realize as they were looking into their own camera all those years, life and people were passing them by.  And all they are left with is photo album upon photo album filled with images of their face with no evidence they ever saw or experienced anything.

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