I’m on all the usual apps – Facebook for friends, Twitter for strangers and Instagram for pictures. I don’t really like Instagram, of all the social media sites, I don’t get why you’d want to see pictures, which have been filtered and manipulated, from people you don’t know – not all bad of course, but much of it, social media bragging at its worst.
And I f***ing hate selfies.
Now make no mistake, I’ve no objection to the odd selfie now and again, in front of the Eiffel Tower etc or with friends, which isn’t ‘officially’ a selfie (although I still think it’s easier to ask the bloke next to you to take the picture) my confusion is with endless Instagram accounts that are full, bar the odd smashed avocado on toast, of pictures of the same person, face in various stages of pout – begging for ‘likes’.
Grown adults (you know who you are) screaming look at me!! Like me!! Give me worth!! … Cringe.
When I put the subject of selfies out to graze on Twitter, people (read: women) became quite defensive about them, saying that there is nothing wrong with having confidence and sharing it on social media.
But selfies aren’t about confidence, quite the opposite – they are about needing approval or just loving yourself a bit too much and making sure everyone knows about it.
Either that or they highlight deep insecurities, that people need to validate themselves with ‘likes’ from strangers. Of course, we all seek some sort of approval in life, it’s human instinct to want to be liked (literally) but when society doesn’t raise an eyebrow at women (and girls) spending hours preparing themselves for photos – then filtering the fuck out of them, in order to be popular, it’s depressing.
Sex education in schools? Believe me, I’d much rather catch my daughter snogging a boy behind the bike sheds than find her in her room, obsessing about an Instagram account full of selfies.
The photographer, David Bailey is quoted as saying, when asked about selfies, that he thought the term was another word for masturbation – when told that, no, actually, it was the term used for people taking photos of themselves, he concluded that he was, in fact, right – it is masturbation, or at least, a virtual form of. And I agree, it’s self-soothing, either a release for insecurities or for narcissm.
Because whether it’s young girls using selfies as a way to disguise insecurities or celebrities creating brands out of their own narcissm, it’s the ugliest side to social media.
Maybe it’s the way things are now, and girls obsessing about themselves for strangers is a part of life, something I should get used to – a society where it’s the social norm for women to parade their looks with the intention of encouraging envy and jealousy, to validate themselves.
But I hope not because I, for one, don’t ‘like’ it.