Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Selfies... If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em

Yes, love them or loathe them, ‘Selfies’ seem to be all the rage!

ME!!... new lippy (just had to pout!)
If I’d tried a little harder, I could have possibly made that opening sentence sound even more middle-aged and mumsy, however I’m trying to write this post with my ‘young’ head on and with an open mind, in the hope that at the end of it I will (like so many of you out there) learn to love, and not loathe, the Selfie.

If I’m honest, I just don’t really get it, and maybe that’s because I’m 'of a certain age'.  If it had been the done-thing when I was younger, I can just imagine my parents’ reaction to Selfie-taking and posting pics on-line for the whole world to see … it would probably have gone something like ‘stop being so vain and self-obsessed, who’s interested in what you’re doing – put the camera away and get on with enjoying your life’.  And maybe that would have been good advice!

However it cannot be denied that there are lots of people out there who are interested in what others are up to, and simply enjoy a good old nosey - admittedly, I’m no stranger to scrolling down my FB, Twitter and Instagram pages in search of new photos. Equally, there are many who seem to be unashamedly in love with yours truly, and want to share their wonderful selves in all manner of poses ranging from pouting in front of a mirror (for no apparent reason), to lying on a beach semi-naked! To me, these photos have no obvious message other than ‘look at me’ or ‘please post a comment saying how gorgeous I am!'

I don’t know why, but if these types of photos were taken by someone else, or with someone else, they would somehow seem more acceptable, and far less self-obsessive and attention seeking.  It’s the fact that an individual, whilst alone, has felt the need to take photos of themselves not doing anything particularly informative, interesting or even for the purposes of spreading a bit of humour, that I find more than a tad irritating.  Now there’s a form of Selfie I do get – the funny ones. Anyone willing to snap a shot of themselves in a particularly embarrassing or compromising situation, for the amusement of others, is okay in my book.

Even some celebs are getting hooked on snapping sneaky pics of themselves.  Heaven knows why, wouldn’t you think spending most of your life being ‘hounded’ by the paparazzi, the last thing you’d want to do whilst alone, is join the club and start taking pictures of yourself?!

Clearly there are times when only a Selfie will do, examples might include being alone at the Victoria Falls, or slap bang by yourself in the middle of the Rio Carnival (the latter being top of my bucket list).  Obviously in these situations a Selfie would be absolutely justified, nay essential!   Or, if you were to find yourself standing on the platform waiting for a train and spotted David Beckham out of the corner of your eye (a scenario taken straight from one of my dreams) – it would be a crime not to whip out your phone and grab a Selfie, with the man himself in the background.

I know that for many of us, there are just some situations or experiences that we simply want to capture, essentially for ourselves - but hey why not share them with others too.  They don’t have to be as spectacular as those mentioned above, indeed my hubby and I have taken many a Selfie when out and about just the two of us.  It’s fantastic that we can take photos of ourselves without bothering passers-by as used to be the case (in the olden days!), or (as my hubby and I have done on many a holiday, before the invention of Selfies), set the camera up on a flat surface and run like mad to get into position and pose before the photo is taken automatically in less than one minute!

Selfies aside, I’ve never been very good at remembering to take photos actually. In fact I’ve been known to lug a camera around with me all day and forget to take a single shot!  Truth is, if I’m doing something enjoyable, exciting or interesting enough to warrant taking a pic, I’m usually too busy ‘in the moment’ to even think about getting the camera out – much to my regret after the event I might add.  In recent years though, with mobile phones having such great cameras making it much more convenient to snap a photo, and the fact that I’ve taken up blogging as a hobby, I’ve really tried to make an effort on this score, and take more photos now than I’ve ever done.

Anyhow, back to the point, as part of my attempt to understand, and learn to love (even become part of) the phenomenon that is the ‘Selfie’, I spent yesterday trying it out for myself. Yes, I spent my whole, pretty mundane and ordinary day, capturing those not so special moments to share with you all.  Mostly, I felt ridiculous, and can honestly say I don’t think I will ever get what I call the true Selfie (i.e. one person, alone, taking photos of themselves for no apparent reason, except to say ‘look at me’).  However, having really thought about it, I do now understand that there is perhaps a time and a place when only the Selfie will do.  I also understand that the recent explosion in technology, allowing us to take half decent photos of ourselves (preferably with someone else and/or doing something interesting), without the need for a tripod, or roping in a stranger who doesn't know which button on the camera to press (yes, I know, showing my age again) should be seen as an absolute positive.

So, here's my day in Selfies, which I promise you, will definitely NOT be repeated!

ME!!... early morning look - no slap and a bit dark and grainy (photo's not very good quality either!)
ME!!... brushing my teeth (fascinating)

ME!!... in the garden with wet hair (and sunnies to disguise my tired eyes)
ME!!... in my room doing my hair (actually those straighteners aren't even switched on)
ME!!... in a half-hearted attempt at making pegging the washing out look like fun
ME!!... looking less than enthusiastic about cleaning the kitchen

Not what I call a true Selife (as I'm having to share the limelight here with Alfie) but... ME!!..walking the dog

ME!!... blogging, and trying to look studious

ME!!... thinking about doing some vacuuming - exciting stuff
ME!!... saying sod the vacuuming, I'll have a sneaky G&T in the garden instead
ME!!... playing my guitar (but obviously NOT playing my guitar, as I'm taking a Selfie and don't have 3 hands)

ME!!... on my retro 'blower' (bit blurry!)

ME!!... enjoying a cuppa (everyone can relate to this one, right?)

ME!!... Touching up my powder (spending the day at home or not, a girl can't risk being shiny - you never know who might call round!)

ME!!.. Reading a book (going for the studious look again, but this time in my room just to mix things up a bit)
ME!!... Absolutely sick to the back teeth of taking SELFIES!!!

What's your 'take' on Selfies?

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