The Selfie Craze

Taking a good old selfie… whether you are in the bathroom, just finished putting your face on for a night out or just got through the gym doors and taking a pic of the great progress on your body you have achieved in that whole 3 minutes, you just can’t run away from a selfie. We are all guilty of taking one every once in a while. It’s like a disease… you take a picture, post it online, get a few likes and think “Oh wow, I do look great in this pic” and then the craze starts. Where did it all begin? Can you remember life before selfies? Where did the term ‘selfie’ even come from?

The only time you will see a Bieber selfie on this site.

The only time you will see a Bieber selfie on this site.

Well surprise, surprise… we all would have thought it was a hot young cracker of a female getting ready for a night out in town but we have all been fooled. The earliest recorded usage of the word selfie has been tracked to 2002, where it appeared on an Australian internet forum (ABC Online):

Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped over [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.

So there it is! The first recorded use of the term selfie was some drunken Aussie sharing an alcohol initiated wound online. Who would have thought! We can thank this guy for starting the biggest online phone sharing craze that has hit the modern world. What is the selfie doing to society? This hot topic was discussed in one of my media tutorials at uni which I found very interesting. What are the effects of the selfie craze on the younger generation? It led to a debate about the positives and the negatives of a selfie and below is what was discussed.

Positives of a Selfie:

– It boosts a person’s self esteem when they are recognized for their beauty, talent, results, hard work etc.

– It allows an individual to share life experiences with friend and family online by showing they are apart of it.

– It builds awareness e.g. the good old charity selfie where an individual takes a photo of themselves participating in a charity event.

Negatives of a Selfie:

–  It creates blows to self-esteem when individuals are bullied, harassed or teased on their photos.

– It makes the younger generation vulnerable to the judgement of others and less acceptable of themselves.

– It leads to the following of bad role models and sharing of inappropriate photos online.

– It pulls a very young generation into the online world early on making them vulnerable to its dangers.

So as you can see, very unexpected results even though selfies can have a few positive effects on individuals. It was an interesting debate and a whole lot of ideas were raised about the selfie craze and its effect on the younger generation of internet users. Have a think about what your selfies mean to you: why do you take a selfie? Is it to share with your friends an experience or a photo which you love or is it to fish for some compliments on the outfit you chose to wear last night?

One thing that I realized is that as soon as I post a selfie it’s like a ticking time bomb. I nervously sit around and check my notifications about every 5 minutes to see if at least one person has liked the photo. I have a friend who stated “Once you get over 15 likes that’s when you know it’s a good photo.” I mean really? 15 likes, is that the bar which we have set for whether your photo is hot enough or not? What happens if you get 14? Is it time to pop on a face mask and work on your styling skills? The discussion could go on and on but let’s end on a funny note. There are the oh-so-common selfies which are so recognizable. The standard poses, locations and captions which are used. So let’s look at the most popular kind of selfies which are around:

1. The OOTD Selfie

– This is where you show off your taste in fashion, makeup skills and how banging you think your body looks in that outfit today/tonight.

2. The Nightlife Selfie

– The pout comes out and the caption is usually something along the lines of “Ready for a good night out !!” (lots of exclamation marks and also may include a drink in your hand).

3. The Just-woke-up Selfie

– You woke up, ran into the bathroom, fixed yourself up, perfectly placed your hair around your face on your pillow and took a photo of how great you look when you “just” woke up. NEVER forgetting a #nofilter hashtag!

4. The Gym Selfie

– Now this one is varied. It could be just of your face lying on the bench press or it could be a full body shot of you in the squat rack or weights section mirror. This one is almost always showing a little tensing of the biceps or your soon to come abs, though make sure it looks like you at least have one little sweat drop on your forehead to look like you have done at least one rep.

5. The Smile Selfie

– Now this one is customized to fit a range of captions. It is just a plain straight photo of your face smiling wildly for reasons to be explained in the caption field. It may be “Just got the job!”, “Happy birthday to me!”, “My boyfriend makes me happy!”, “Just smile because you are amazing!” (this one is a sort of ‘I look great but let’s give that a try to look like I’m complimenting my friends as well’).

6. The Body Selfie

– This is almost 99% of the time in a bikini or shirt-less for the guys. It’s a way to say “My body looks banging though my face right now… not so much.”

7. The Cheeky Selfie

– This is one of my most entertaining ones. It is when you post a silly selfie of you with your tongue out, or with your pearly whites showing like grills (this is sort of a bad-ass angle), knowing you look really cute and amazing though hash-tagging #bored #ugly #needmoresleep #imsostupid … It’s a way of promoting yourself as thinking you look horrid though making all of your friends jealous because you still look hot whilst pulling a silly face!

So those are my most obvious pics for the most popular selfies around! So now walk away, have a laugh at your news feed and also think about which category you are falling under next time you press that upload button!

– by Nikolina Koevska

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