Sunday, 23 March 2014

Self Absorbed Selfies?

I mean its very name speaks volumes does it not? The 'selfie' this is where a person takes a picture of themselves and posts it on social media. Let's just stop and think about this for a moment. A person takes a picture of themselves and shows you.  Seriously? What is up with that? Where did it all go so wrong?! Not satisfied with documenting everything our children do, we now want to take pics of ourselves and share these too! You can understand, to a degree, teenagers doing this as, lets face it, they are meant to be a bunch of self absorbed irritants but middle aged men and women? Really? We should know better.

This was doing the rounds after the no make up selfies hit the Facebook newsfeeds. It really made me laugh
There is a whole generation who will be able to document their entire life in pictures and various media entries. I wonder what they will make of it all in years to come. I don't think I'm above any of this - I'm as guilty as the next person. Why do I feel the need to take a picture of my kids feeding squirrels in the park and share it on facebook? I have no idea but I do and probably will continue to do so. I used to take a camera out with me on days out and just print them off and that would be that.  My youngest even wants to look at the picture that I've just taken. Its all so normal to have his every move documented by his mother.

So, some genius came up with the idea of raising money for charity (cancer research) by making the person take a picture of themselves.  It wasn't take a picture of a thing of  beauty or anything humble it was take a picture of yourself. Not only could they take a picture of themselves but they could do it all in the name of charity. They could also tell you they've donated to charity and you could praise them for doing so. Genius. Would they have raised the same amount of money if they had merely posted "please donate £3"? I doubt it somehow. It had to involve something that people could show they had given money. As an added bonus their chums could tell them how beautiful they looked with no make-up on. In fact, for some, this was worth more to them than donating £3. We all need to look younger than we are don't we. I remember Carrie Fisher saying once "christ I'm 50 (or thereabouts) what am I supposed to look like!" Well in this day and age of the selfie you need to look forever young and have a picture of Dorian Gray in your attic.

Although, how many actually donated £3? Pretty confident there were many that just did the selfie and not much else. And that's where we all fall down - the only person that needs to know what you give is you and your maker. Did the great Victorian philanthropists go around shouting how much they donated? I don't know? Have you heard any of these people?

What's the problem I hear you say? It's raised a few million when it might ordinarily not have done - its only a bit of fun. Yes, playground fun as we've all reverted back to being high schoolers haven't we. A bit like the messages you get that are a bit of fun but are under the guise of promoting some charity and you're meant to play along as, after all, its for a good cause. No, its highly bloody irritating! I left school a long time ago - it doesn't make me a bad person to leave the conversation when I'm meant to tell everyone what the size of my bra is in the name of charity.  I used to make paper fortune tellers - remember those? But that was when I was 14 for petes sake - I'm 40 now!! I don't want to play!

Things I used to do when I was 14 - I don't want to do the facebook equivalent because I've grown up! Pic google pictures
I didn't do a no make up selfie and post it on facebook. I did do it in the name of research for this blog and found its actually very hard to take a picture of yourself and then when you do its not quite up to scratch. I think I took a total of 15 and am pretty sure before people uploaded they would have had a fair few attempts to take a picture of themselves. I have no desire to take a picture of myself again in a hurry. Some, just took a picture of their text message (the mobile phone companies were rubbing their hands with glee) but why should anyone have to announce they've donated to charity? Some felt they had to justify why they hadn't taken part when donating to charity is a private matter. I have written about cancer research previously here (and is my most viewed post) and the amount of money that goes on admin etc is a disgrace. They said £2.75 would go directly to cancer research - but how much would actually go to the research? How much would go to paying the marketing, sales, website, salaries etc? Its a business after all.  I didn't donate and won't be at this time. I know its a good cause but so are plenty of others and if and when I do donate time or money to charity it will be my own business.

A no make up selfie which is hard to take but is also a very sad reflection of our times
Anyhow, I find the selfie a tad depressing. Its a reflection on our self absorbed entitlement society. I am just another sheep to a large or lesser degree with my involvement in social media and the like. I mean a blog has to be the biggest self indulgent clap trap does it not?  Will it ever change? Will we ever get off the social media treadmill or will it get worse?

What do you think? Harmless bit of fun or is it going a bit dark out there? Cue Tales of the Unexpected or The Equaliser music.....!

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