I snarfed my Cheerios when I read freelance writer Damyanti’s post How Selfie Obsessed Are You? Thankfully I ate alone at the breakfast table this morning. I’ll admit that I too probably would have watched Mr. Narcissist with fascinated amusement.
Her post got me to thinking about the why people take selfies, and I think I know the answer. Will you let me know what you think?
Before the invention of photography, when people had portraits made, they sat for a hired painter or portraitist for extended or repeated sessions in order to achieve an agreed likeness of themselves. These portrait paintings and sketches represented a person’s look over hours, days or even seasons.
The advent of film allowed the ability to capture a single moment complete with its imperfections. That may explain why early photos of groups or individuals lacked expression—people had that one moment to capture what might be the only photo taken of them in a lifetime and I think they believed they ought to look dignified.
Digital photography makes it easy to trash an imperfect shot without any financial loss, and to re-create a prior moment; a false perception.
Maybe there’s a connection between why we take selfies and what pose we choose.
Remember the 2014 Oscar’s and the publicity surrounding Ellen DeGeneres’ selfies with odd lots of celebrities who might otherwise never have posed together? Maybe we need to prove to ourselves that we’re all having fun.