“Selfie!” It’s a word that transcends languages and space, and I’ve heard it a lot this past year while travelling around the tourist sites of Europe. The word resounds off the gothic walls of Parliament Square in London, the piazzas in Rome and the city centers of Spain.
Has the world become narcissistic? Is this a sign that people have become so egocentric that they only care about taking pictures of themselves? Maybe it’s true, and maybe the selfie culture is as evil as many people seem to think it is.
But I think more credit is due to this new style than many people allow. I had a chance to explain the art of the selfie to my dad last summer after watching him try (and fail) to take a picture of himself. That moment gave me the chance to really consider what it is about these pictures that I enjoy so much.
First and foremost – they are fun! Something about taking my phone and making a funny face somewhere I love simply makes me feel alive and joyful. This is why I love Snapchat so much – it’s full of people just being their goofy selves. Selfies give people the chance to be comfortable with themselves no matter how strange they think they may appear to other people. In a culture where people are extremely concerned with their appearance selfies can help us break out of that cycle.
The other nice thing about selfies is their intimacy. In the world of Twitter and texting it’s refreshing to have a medium of sharing where you can actually see someone’s face. There is a certain amount of sharing of yourself in taking a selfie. It’s up-close-and-personal. It shows a person how you are feeling and what you are doing in a way that a text or tweet simply can’t.
Inspired by the #100happydays campaign I have found myself trying to identify the times in my day where I would want to take a selfie with God. What are the times during the day when I am doing something that makes me feel happy, goofy, funny, or excited? When do I want to pull out my phone, make a funny face, and take a picture? These are moments when God is present. These are the moments when I want to share a bit of myself(ie) with my friends and God.