Do you have friends in Facebook who regularly post photos of themselves? Does it starve you staring at Instagram photos of your friends’ meals? Do you want to hide someone in your wall because s/he occupies your news feed? Do you like to believe that you don’t care about the new car, new shoes of your friends posted in Facebook? Do you wonder why this person has to broadcast every detail of his day including the place he checked-in with Google map attached? At times, these people can be very annoying. But wait, you can be one of the self-centered, self-absorbed, self-conscious people. As I believe, each of us has an inner selfie waiting to be unleashed.
Everybody is using social media for self-promotion. If you like to sell a product or service, make a Facebook page. If you have an idea, share it. If you have a show, promote. If you have a talk, invite. If you support a cause, inform. Sometimes, it’s funny when we talk about ourselves as third person. If you are a performer, you might tweet: “I am going to perform this Valentine’s Day, catch me in Music Museum.” If you are a motivational speaker, you might tweet: “I’ll be having a talk on How to Improve Your Life. See you in Cebu.” Even FB wall status encourages you to use third-person voice. Jackie Bello is listening to Mozart. Jackie Bello is feeling loved. We become our own publicists.
Whether you share news articles or state a political opinion, it is your inner selfie who wants to be relevant. Even if you use alias or pen name in your blog, you are still making yourself important. You believe your thoughts, your life events, are worth publishing online. Whether you rant and write your depression in life, you are aiming at an audience whom you assume will understand you. And this imaginary audience that you subconsciously think of before you upload and update, includes your peers, high school classmates, new-found friends, acquaintances, the guy you met online, the ex of your ex, your future mother-in-law, the people you admire, the last person you just gave your business card, the people you envy, the people you hate, and others. Imagine a big cyber crowd is waiting for an update of your life. This is what your inner selfie has been whispering to your head. In real life, we don’t like stalkers but when we are online, we like stalkers. We build a fantasy that we are celebrities. And I plead guilty.
Hence, I appeal to the general public: do not judge the selfies. Do not complain about their prominent presence online. Do not complain about the number of photos they have, wearing the same outfit, same hairstyle, same lightning. Yes, they are in love with themselves but I prefer them over people who type negative comments in Youtube, who backbite online using blind items in their wall status, who share disappointment and anger over traffic, weather, and over anything else. We just need some positive people around. Besides, we have a fair share of narcissistic moments online. You and I are guilty.
I initially want to conclude this by saying: “Choose what you share online. Evaluate if it’s worth sharing. Sharing is good.” But in the internet world, sharing is not very different from bragging. What do you give when you share a selfie photo? Will it brighten someone’s day? Or will you make a bad impression by showing how idle you are? What will people get when you share a photo of yourself?
Entertainment, I guess.
We live in our imagination.
Here are a few lines from Vanesa Hidary, in her piece, Forever Beautiful till I Saw You on Facebook.
You see there is an amazing place in my brain called my imagination. And even though it might have me delusional and have me think that my recent love is home miserable by my absence. I’d like to live in that place… It’s so ridiculous I know to not know things when you actually can. But like the busy signal sometimes I just like to be unavailable to be reached.
This will not end without a selfie photo.