What in the world is a "selfie?" Does that describe a person, or a photo, or both?
|Some "selfies" are somewhat necessary, like|
when no one else is present to capture the image.
Say, for example, you happen to be floating in
As I mentioned in the previous post, I tend to encounter these new-age expressions and the technologies they represent at the end of the curve, by the time they're already old hat.
Having just recently seen this "word" in print for the first time, I was rather taken aback. Okay, it wasn't in "print" in the conventional sense. But it was used without italics in an article on CNN.
When I view examples of "selfies" on the web, there's something oddly different in the eyes of the individual photographing himself. Or maybe it's the way they position their eyes, chin, face.
Well, in my opinion, a photograph is primarily a means for others to view and remember you, not a means for you to view yourself. If you are so concerned with how others view you and crave flattering photos of yourself, then for crying out loud, let the "other" take the photo.
When one takes self photos and posts it on his profile, he is beckoning me, the "other," to view him as he views himself, with ostensible self-flattery and self adoration. On a more extreme level, an individual who experiences delusions of grandeur believes that the whole world views him in the same "larger than life" manner as he views himself.
Furthermore, the very word "selfie" in somewhat offensive, or at least its inflection. Nouns with "ie" or "y" on the end are typically diminutive or endearing. "Selfie" implies "your little self" or your "cute little self."
Is that how we define a healthy perspective of self? To have self esteem means to appreciate and validate oneself as a self respecting human being. Just as there is something inherently objectionable about someone with an inflated sense of self, so too there is something wrong with having a diminished sense of self.
Referring to a self-captured image as a "selfie" implies that you define yourself by your appearance as depicted in the photo you have just taken. It also implies that you view yourself as a cute little "selfie," nothing more than an object of people's attention or admiration.
Perhaps the deeper lesson here is that "selfie" obsession relates to your more diminutive or "lower" self, a step down from your "higher" self, your more expansive adult mind.
"Sefie-ness" now brings us to a new low, ever more immersed in the morass of pettiness and lower self, further detached from higher self. I am now defined by a mere image on my phone (or social media page), and even more so by how many "likes" it generates.
In conclusion, I propose we eschew the word "selfie" along with the self-oriented behavior it represents, with all due respect to Merriam Webster. Let's all strive to become less self-preoccupied and more self-effacing. Selfless giving sure beats being self serving. Self sacrifice is far more personally rewarding than self photography.
Parenthetically, it recently occurred to me that the term "cell phone" pronounced quickly actually sounds like "self-phone." Can it be that the phonetic "self" encrypted into the expression "cell phone" explains why its use has become so prevalent in modern parlance? I have been told that "cell" is abbreviated from "cellular," supposedly referring to short-range radio towers that somehow resemble biological cells. Plus, "mobile phone" or "wireless phone" are both multi-syllabic, as opposed to "cell." But perhaps there's a deeper reason, a subliminal connotation to "self" in the ubiquitous "cell phone" that accounts for its wide appeal.
Come to think of it, maybe there's phonetic significance in both words. "Cell phone" = "self own." Hmm. This raises another questions. Do you own your phone, or does your phone own you?
Okay, enough rambling for one day.
Time to get back to work in the real (non-virtual) world.