By: Zara Maqbool
When did it really start? When did we feel that we have to capture all our important moments of our life in our smart phones, yet very mindfully selecting those images that are society worthy experiences? Do we feel we would only become significant to others if they knew we did something important and that our life is not boring? What intrigues me is how some of us who’s locus of evaluation was never external, someone like me got hooked to this concept too. Why did I have to make sure the world knew I just took my first single girls trip to New York? Why did I post it on Facebook and then Instagram also to make sure no one is missed? Hopefully none were!
So why do we really record it all? How many of us spend time printing those photos and making albums of it or really plan to sit in the future and take the time out to reflect on those special times. I feel just being present in that moment with loved ones and remembering it later as a happy memory is not enough. Unless we get enough number of likes and comments from our friends, we don’t feel our experience mattered. It only becomes real for us when it gets recorded and brought to the attention of many.
Have we become more insecure as a society and though by the looks of it we appear confident and cool, we are actually regressing in our self-esteem? And then the energy spent on perfecting each pic, the practice required to select the right angle of the face and deciding on our good and bad side. I have yet to know which is my good side and where exactly to look when I am getting a selfie taken.
A friend who wants to remain anonymous lest she becomes a social outcast states, “ I think that selfie is a very unhealthy addiction. People are becoming too self-obsessed which can be pretty annoying plus it takes away from the moment. Hate selfies!”
Leah Stewart, The Myth of You and Me, says some interesting words. “So I would take a photo to stop the world. So that I could keep moving”
Sunbul Kazmi says, “ Because all memories are prone to alter over time, influenced and molded to fit a narrative of the moment of recollection. Photos and instant transcriptions are the closest approximation to what truly transpired. Since time is moving faster than before, our obsession with capturing and freezing our life has intensified.”
Maybe that is a possibility too. The lack of security that we experience, the uncertainty of our times, makes us at a subconscious level want to freeze those moments. But why then the obsession with perfecting it. Why take ten selfies and use apps to beautify them, trying to present a perfect self to the world. There is a constant attempt at not settling for the ordinary, this need for performance anxiety when it comes to even posing for the camera.
According to a latest research there are three categories of people who are obsessed with taking selfies and like posting them; communicators, self-publicists and autobiographers. Communicators basically like to engage people and post pictures to invite opinion on what they do. The self-publicists are like circus performers; looking for positive attention and feel this is the only way to get it. I have yet to see anyone make a negative remark on anyone’s pictures. Autobiographers genuinely like to record and preserve their life events and Facebook or Instagram would ensure that those moments are there forever. I would like to people I am a little bit of each. So hopefully what I have expressed might make sense to a few. I will make sure I post this blog on all social pages!
Story first published: 4th March 2017