The title has intrigued you to read the post, isn’t it? Because we all know what the newly added word in the Oxford dictionary really means.
“SELFIE – A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
– Oxford Dictionary
Well, Oxford people have made it easy for those who don’t know what it really is. Selfie was an art till the time ‘front’ cameras didn’t exist. Once they were invented, people went crazy and yes, crazy is the term here. ‘Selfie’ is quite an impressive word, which has a very metaphorical ring to it, relating it to the nasty word – SELFISH.
We all have taken ‘selfies’ in our lives, we all own smart-phones and cameras, and we all know how cool it is to do the job yourself, than ask for a favor from someone else, like it used to be in the nineties or so. Whenever we were on a vacation, we used to hunt for free people first who would agree to take our pictures and sometimes even pay for it! But now, how easy it is to take a group ‘Selfie’, remember the Oscar-Selfie, the most shared one and the most talked about one? Oh, who wouldn’t?
We all remember taking our first selfie as well. A single click has never been successful in taking the most satisfying image, isn’t it? We always clicked the camera button like maniacs to produce that one photo that we liked enough to be posted on social media websites. And the camera roll of all people around us is mostly full of their self-shots. Yes, even mine!
Taking selfie is one thing, but being obsessed with it is another. There is an obsession called ‘The Selfie Obsession’ which has been recognized and termed as a kind of depression, and no, I’m not joking here. A teenager in USA tried to kill himself after he wasn’t able to get that perfect shot for his Facebook profile! Here is what he has to say after attending a rehab for months –
“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realised I couldn’t I wanted to die. I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”
– Danny Bowman, 19
As the phones are getting smarter, we are getting dumber. Since when did taking a self-shot became so important that you spoil your routine because of it? Some people skip meals, delay their daily tasks, just so they can first accomplish their mission of posting a selfie on their social-networking accounts.
Taking a selfie is perfectly normal, until you are also focusing on your life! But once you are doing nothing but taking selfies all day, and posting pictures every two minutes on your ID, you’ve got a problem, mate.
It’s important that we understand the limits of everything we do. Multiple likes on self-shots no doubt enhance the confidence in you, but low amount of Facebook likes are also reported to be inducing suicidal tendencies in people, especially youngsters, who are totally obsessed with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just like the Selfie Obsession, even Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) is a recognized term, and many are suffering from it too. Ever feel depressed if you posted something with all your heart and it didn’t get as good response as you hoped for? Well, my friend you’re walking the FAD path!
Every youngster has a Facebook ID, the ones who prefer to live an ‘offline’ life are termed backwards. Everything that you’re doing, or thinking ‘has to’ be uploaded on Facebook, no matter if it’s stupid or even illegal! There are people in my ID who upload a new selfie every five seconds or so, as if they’ve got nothing else to do. People who Instagram everything they see, even if it’s a floor-mat, and then they’ll hashtag it with funky and non-relatable titles like – #YOLO #SWAG and so on…I mean, seriously? YOLO floor-mat? SERIOUSLY?
If you’re one of them, you’ve got to mend your ways before you lose it all! There are some ways of starting this as a rehab, at your own convenience.
1. Go offline one day a week. Did you feel suffocated just by reading it? Well, then you strictly need to do it!
2. Mark a day in a week in which you don’t use your phone’s camera at all! Even if the cutest squirrel of the planet decides to sit with you that day, you will ‘not’ use the camera and take it’s pictures. Learn to ‘feel’ some things, than capturing everything.
3. Once a month, you will watch ‘all’ the photos you have uploaded on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and even the ones saved in your phone or laptop. Watch them ALL and get to know about the horror your friends/relatives have to go through while scrolling down their timeline everyday! You will yourself feel that so many photos were unnecessary and so many would look so bad that maybe you regret posting them online, which may trigger a thought in your mind every time you decide to post a selfie after that.
4. Repeat the above steps again and again, and make sure you are mastered in number 1, so that if you’re planning a trekking trip to some far off hilly area which has no internet network, you’re not ‘out of breath’! (seriously, no pun intended here!)
Your life is too precious to be wasted in activities that you may term useless in future. Do charity, spend time with your family, do something productive, work on something, take up projects, read, write, watch movies, but don’t keep looking at your face which isn’t going to change in a day or a week! Remember, you haven’t got a plastic surgery or facial reconstruction that you need to post a picture every second for your friends to recognize you the next time they see you. You look the same, just like you did yesterday, and a day before that, nothing has changed, and so a selfie won’t help much! Even if you make a pout or a wink or stick your tongue out, you will be the same old ‘you’! If nothing much will change with a photo, why waste so much time, energy and even your phone’s battery in clicking self-shots every minute?
Feel the nature, the first rainfall, the spring break, blooming flowers, don’t Instagram them! There are still some things that man hasn’t been able to master, and one of them is preserving fragrance. Even if you watch a photograph of first rain from last year, will you be able to smell it, or feel the droplets drizzling on your face? No, you can’t. So that photo is already half-dead. You will only be able to recollect some faded memories, and if you spent all that time in taking the perfect selfie, God forbid, you won’t even have a memory to cherish!
You’ve got one life to live, remember YOLO? And you don’t want to give away that life in photos that might do no good to the generations to come. What will your grandchildren do with so many self-shots of their grandparents? Throw them in trash! And believe me, that will happen right in front of you someday. Ask yourself, how many photos of your grandparents do you have? A dozen of them, ‘maximum’. The same will be the case with our children and grandchildren, who will have no time to keep our photos, because they’d be busy with theirs, then why waste so many resources to produce an utterly useless thing? Do something that your offspring appreciate you for, and not something that they term as a ‘futile-memory-occupation’.
So, feel more and ‘click’ less.