To date, our ability to record information has grown and developed exponentially over time. Our thoughts, emotions, stories and the way we look have all become a medium in which to fulfil our innate desire to record and pass down our story as well as etch our place in time into a public forum. Historically, this power to record the way we look was limited to the rich, where artists were paid to do portraitures. According to blogger, justkissmyfrog in her video: Are Selfies Bad for you? “Rich people get portraitures taken of them, Poor people get lost and buried in communal pits… selfies are a key part of where we came from”.
Selfies are the new media. This means, “not only [do they] introduce new ways for us to express ourselves, but also new forms of self-awareness—new ways to reflect on who we are and how we relate to others.”
It is this hand-holding between the selfie and self-awareness, that makes the selfie all the more appealing. This ability to “perceive yourself and as such how others perceive you… suggests being aware of yourself” according to Klosowki in his articleThe Importance of Self-Awarness, and How to become More Self Aware.
To break it down further, when we can look in the mirror and acknowledge that we look good, that we’re doing something cool or we’re with cool friends, this is us taking charge of how we want others to see us. It’s self promotion.
“At a human right: vanity. Vanity is a thing that everybody accuses everybody of. Our society’s expectation for us to not only look perfect, but not know that we look perfect, and not flaunt that we look perfect, but also spend a lot of time trying to look perfect. If you like the way you look today, that’s going to go away pretty soon- you better record that”, says justkissmyfrog.
It seems this vanity has become somewhat of a marketing ploy within the “charity” industry, such as with #nomakeupselfie and the #wakeupcallselfie. It has become almost ironic to see charity becoming mistaken for vanity. The Facebook group: Selfies for Charity seeks to expose the absurdity behind simply taking a photo of yourself in support for others, stating on their Facebook page, “we don’t care about your make-up, we just care about your donation”. This such uprising has come about specifically as a means to rip apart the idea that support of a particular issue/cause can come about through self promotion. It seems like, at the crux of it, the new self-y generation cannot help but become “involved” in the world by vicariously living through their selfie.