Capturing the evolution of the selfie, Lyssa Campbell reveals the shocking truth – we’re to blame.
We have a lot to answer for. The term “selfie” was originated by an Australian back in 2002. Eleven short years later it had graduated to the International Word of the Year.
This is how far our society has slumped.
For every advance we make technologically, there is a general negative modifier that is applied to our collective societal intelligence.
For example: text speak, or txt spk, has cannibalised our language. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc. have bankrupted the art of conversation. Worst of all, the selfie has ruined the concepts of modesty, honesty and natural beauty.
It’s getting worse.
As if our site feeds weren’t rife enough with duck faces, sucked in stomachs, over-exposed filters, and semi-naked children. Now the selfie is growing up. It’s no longer just a past time for uneducated teens who are so self-absorbed they have nothing better to do than tan up, strip off and pretend to the world they’re attractive, topping it all off with a completely see through #nofilter tag when the mascara is thicker than a body chalk outline.
Yes, now you can have your selfie on your coffee. Because for the truly narcissistic, you need yourself on your lips and in your veins, not just on every single piece of technology you can shove onto your person.
And yes, back in the 80s you could go to shows or fairs and get your picture plastered on a t-shirt. But it was a herculean effort. Now every Tom, Dick, Harry and Montana can do it, to just about anything – phone cases, pillows, shirts, watches, jewellery. And they are everywhere, getting more and more risqué, with more and more hash-tags that mean less and less. Even taking over important messages, like raising cancer awareness, and devaluing even something so serious.
Soldiers take selfies with hostages, Murderers with their victims, Doctors with their dying patients, mid-procedure. Where does ethics, dignity and respect come back to the fore of importance for our species?
What’s worse is that this isn’t even a fading trend.
As new waves of generations hit puberty earlier and earlier, they adopt the vacuous nature of their influences, doing more seemingly outrageous things to get more attention. Taking more and more selfies to share with anyone unfortunate enough to be remotely connected to that person, as some sort of sick, sad documentary of the human race’s demise into brainless unconsciousness.
There is hope still, maybe aliens will come down to Earth and abduct the selfie slaves. And then when people try to offer up photos to help in the search, because of all the filters and the artificial faces, no survivors will be found.
This will free us from the sticks, the phones, the pads and other paraphernalia, start using devices for emergencies and the occasional free-mium game, and we’ll restart the evolutional engine of our species.
Perhaps we might even dethrone the Kardashians from being accepted as useful entities, and start touting and valuing true contributors to the betterment of life, like the doctors, scientists, literary geniuses and actually talented artists.
I can’t wait.