August 13, 2014

But First, Let’s Talk About The #Selfie

Just one second with your phone facing you is all you need to take a selfie. And we're pretty sure you've done that at least once in your life. No judgements. We've all taken selfies, no matter how anonymous or famous we are. Selfies have taken the world’s centre stage, especially in the last 2 years. It was even nominated as “the word of the year” in 2013. What was once a way to take pictures on your own or with friends, has now evolved to one of the most popular and profitable activities of the year. Not to mention, our selfie and social media obsession has become a current theme for songs, ads and TV shows.

photo via Daily Mail

The Kardashians, Rihanna, Princes Harry and William, Justin Bieber, Cara Delevigne, your 9 year old cousin who just got a smartphone… Every day we are overwhelmingly bombarded by a plethora of self-portraits on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This incredible phenomenon intrigued Photographer Jenna Garrett to create a project called The Public Profile Of An American Girl, a collection of 5,000 “Public” selfies she collected on Facebook. The project is now an installation at Aperture Foundation's Summer Open, in New York, and discloses the behaviour of the young generation of American girls.

video via The Chainsmokers

And it doesn't stop there. Our selfie fever has permeated into TV, music and other media outlets like the Chainsmokers’ song #Selfie. The song was released in the beginning of this year and is a controversial satire of our self-portrait and Instagram addiction. By dividing the audience into lovers and haters, #Selfie mocks the way girls are constantly obsessed with likes, filters and all the other quirks that social media platforms, such as Instagram, offer.

photo via Mashable

Also mocking narcissism and social media addiction, the upcoming ABC TV series, Selfie, plans to teach us that it is possible to connect with people even when you are “offline." The comedy tells the story of Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan), a girl who is too busy updating her “263,000 followers” to have a real life or make friends until she decides to ask for help from her marketing pal, Henry (John Cho).

photo via NBC News

So how much is a selfie worth? The answer is: it depends on who is in the picture. In the case of the above photo, besides being taken during the Oscars, the quantity of global movie stars in it made history with over 779,295 retweets in half and hour and one of the best marketing strategies to date. The picture was worth $1 Billion, which far surpasses what is usually spent on a commercial during the award ceremony. And there’s a logical reason for that: the selfie has reached more than 45 million views, which is far greater than what ads usually reach because for most people, social media is more trustworthy than paid advertisements.

photo via Buzzfeed

The cultural phenomenon of the selfie exposes a very basic human desire to feel noticed, appreciated and recognized. However, there’s a big discussion about whether it has become a bit excessive. Known as the Selfie Queen, Kim Kardashian makes us question how far the selfie obsession has gone. And now, she is publishing her first book, named “Selfish," next spring. The 352-page book is a collection of Kardashian’s best self-portrait shots, and so far it has already provoked negative opinions in hundreds of people.

Although selfies are criticized by many people because of their narcissistic character, for some, this is a major source of recognition and appreciation. Large media vehicles and companies have decided to invest tons of money into "the selfie," which is a fast and efficient way to attract customers’ attention. It seems that this trend is not going to fade anytime soon so feel free to keep taking your selfies without any shame.

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