Some social media memes utterly escape me. Taking pictures of your feet or whatever you’re about to eat are part of that list. But topping them is the Selfie.
Surprising as it might be to Millennials and their overlapping generations, taking a picture of yourself with your own phone is not something new.
There are some who believe the first Selfie was taken by five New York photographers on the roof of the Marceau studio in 1920.
And if they weren’t the first, my dad was sometime in the 1950’s.
The last day of any family vacation was always marked by taking a photograph of all of us together. Whether we were camping, visiting some natural or historic site or simply hanging with relatives, the final day did not proceed until the photo had been taken.
But first, like Sundays before church, we all had to get scrubbed and dressed in the best clothing we had with us. As if anybody believed my brothers and I went fishing in a jacket and tie.
Then we’d find a location that had been selected as the high point of said vacation. Might be a landmark or landscape that immediately identified our location. Or it might just be grandma’s house from an angle showing off the fresh coat of paint.
Then my dad would set his camera on the hood of the car, push the delayed shutter switch, and hustle around to join us before the 10-second delay was up.
Usually this took two or three tries because nobody was ever sure if the shutter had actually clicked or the framing had included all of us.
But it was still technically a “selfie.”
And yet the Selfie has become today’s most popular use of digital cameras. I’m not sure why. Perhaps, as this study reports, it has something to do with those who are insecure or narcissistic being the most active on social media.
Whatever the reason, we’re now inundated with accessories to make Selfie production even easier. Although, they don’t come without some unwanted side effects.
I can only imagine one of these in my father’s hands . . .
Please Selfie Responsibly.
First published on The Legion of Decency.