The “Selfie Stick”… it was only a matter of time and the inevitable would happen. A way for people to capture a selfie of themselves literally anywhere. There has been so much written lately on the topic of selfies. As a photographer I really do follow this change in society. Although I rarely take a selfie with my mobile phone I do find myself (like most photographers) taking a selfie as test shots. Most times it is for checking the lighting, the camera is on a tripod and when I have no one else around to be a stand in, so I’ll jump in front of the camera. I guess it doesn’t really count as a true selfie unless I was to go crazy and post them to social media. I will admit I have made a fair amount of self-illustrations, again usually when I’m working on a new technique in Photoshop. But somehow I’m not really self-absorbed with it.
However I do follow social media closely as I’m always promoting my own photography and illustrations. After all this is pretty much what the modern day photographer does to promote. Instagram for me is the place of recent that people really have gravitated toward. I get so much activity and business from Instagram it is amazing. Now while following Instagram and Facebook I see so many selfies. Mostly teen to college aged girls, but I say “mostly” although the trend seems to be changing and I’m starting to see more and more older females and guys putting up the selfie.
Let’s take a look at the selfie ordeal, shall we. So ok your out to dinner with friends and you want to capture the moment so you and your BFF squeeze in tight and take a selfie. You captured that moment and off it goes to Facebook oblivion for all your friends to see and comment on. Then five minutes later you do it all again. But dare I ask… If you shot the first selfie to capture the so called “moment,” what was so different about five minutes later that you needed to capture the moment again? I really don’t quite get it. Now I don’t worry about offending this type of person with this blog post because I know 100% for sure they’re not reading it because three sentences into the post they had to stop and go take a selfie (no joke intended).
I did read an article just the other day about a young man that committed suicide because he could not take a perfect selfie. He became obsessed with taking the perfect selfie and after some time he became withdrawn and depressed and offed himself. After reading this I thought not too much about it, just thinking that this particular person obviously had some mental problems and the whole selfie thing just was the end result. …Or was it? Are we going to start (or have we already) to see the beginning of a new era of mental disorders spawned by technology and the ability to take a photo of yourself? Just saying… I don’t know the answer to that question; but____ selfie diarrhea is all over everybody’s social media. Maybe you’re not the one posting the selfie but there they are all over your Instagram feed. Just now as I’m writing I go to my Instagram and I see five selfies out of the first twenty photos in the feed. Now I just went to my Facebook feed and the third post was a selfie. Now I really don’t think the selfie is a bad thing, however I would question the mental status of someone who is posting several selfies a day, or an hour. I would think several selfies a days would be a bit much, but again I see it all the time. And as I stated earlier I’m not off limits to posting a selfie, but starting back last July I kind set a self-imposed rule to kind of give my selfies a purpose. While finishing up a photo shoot with model Cynthia Ann she asked if I could stand behind her while she captured a selfie with her “awesome” photographer (her words not mine) and then she did the same with the makeup artist. So I kind of got in a little bit of a habit of capturing a selfie with the models right after the shoot is over. Although the photo is usually posted to social media the big laugh comes at the time we’re capturing the selfie and I never really pay too much attention to it after that. So that is my personal rule, no selfies unless you have a pretty girl standing in front of you. Cool rule I think lol. Crazy? Maybe, but not enough to kill myself if it turns out bad lol.
So let’s end where we started… the Selfie Stick. There is more to the selfie stick then first meets the eye. See like the young man who could not take the perfect selfie, I noticed many people of recent trying to capture themselves in just the right way. I recently spent a month in Thailand and all along the way of the whole trip I was hit with the selfie diarrhea (eww). I seen people contorting themselves and standing in weird positions, even falling down because they were trying to capture the selfie. And yes I saw the selfie stick everywhere. Now this is my observation; most people I noticed when using the Selfie Stick hold the stick up above so the camera is looking down. This is one (not the only) of the techniques that photographers use to capture… a… well… fat person. Yup my blog so I can say it. And not just fat people but it is a technique used to stretch out the loose skin we all have around our neck as we get older. Overweight or not, most people are conscious about the loose skin around their neck and the Selfie Stick can help reduce this if used at the correct angle. Then not to mention Google puts a softening to your photo automatically… oh you didn’t know that? Sure Google and I’m sure others do it too, put a softening filter to photos that have faces in them and you can turn the option off if you like, but most people don’t even know about it. They just know they look so dam good in their iPhone.
Time will tell… but I’m laying my money down on the bet that the selfie disorder will make a lot of people a lot of money much the way other fake disorders have made shrinks money for years. They (whoever they are) say “OMG you posted ten selfies in 9 minutes your gonna die” and then the therapy starts along with support groups and I could even see some moron selling anti-selfie pills… don’t laugh your spouse is most likely ordering them right now for your teen. Who cares if somebody takes too many photos of themselves? Not me, I think it is downright hilarious, just like the people that say Fast Food is evil because it made them fat or people who kill themselves texting. I could go on and on all day… OMG maybe I have a disorder because I laugh at other people short comings in life… oh that group therapy session will be soooo much fun.