A week or so ago I was driving home in the evening with my teen son beside me and my preschooler in the backseat. As usual, the darkness of the evening was abruptly shattered by the flash of his camera phone. My son was taking another selfie….I’m sure it was likely the 20th of the day.
Every day he, like most teens, take selfies in the car, in their bedroom, in the school cafeteria…..wherever he happens to be. In fact, the idea of using the phone as a phone is a mere afterthought at this point. Its primary purpose seems to be as a camera with an occasional text, Facetime, or (God forbid…..if all else fails and there’s a life or death emergency) phone call thrown in.
Like many, I found myself judging this “selfie” generation as narcissistic, superficial, and self-serving. Why else would one take a “selfie” 300 times per day? And then a couple of other thoughts struck me…..
- I take a selfie nearly every day and post to the FB page I use primarily for my side jewelry business. What’s the purpose in that? Is it to promote me or my business? If there is a purpose other than for vanity’s sake, could there be another deeper underlying reason for a teen’s selfie craze and postings?
- I document and share my life and thoughts with the world through this blog and my words and images on social media. I love to journal and blog. Therefore, if a picture really is worth 1,000 words, could it be that my son’s neverending selfie taking is more about telling his story through visuals than through words?
Bingo! I think we have a winner. Today’s citizens have experienced shifts in thinking processes and the hardwiring of the brain due to the rapid increase of technology. Children and teens are more visual processors of information than any generation prior. Therefore, it makes sense that they would share their lives through pictures. And I began to go through my own selfies on social media to see if it were true for myself, as well….at least the selfies outside of my business.
This is from nearly six years ago. Our family attended a baseball game for our local minor league baseball team. We had a blast. This was in the days before we had our littlest one and this guy was the only child. Therefore, he got to indulge in things like slushes…. as evidenced by his mouth right after he enjoyed some of it. That was a good day.
This was take when the little one was just shy of three months old. It was our family’s second trip to Johns Hopkins and little man’s first airplane ride. Of course, E was still pretty new to flying too. This was only his third flight. Southwest…..no assigned seats….the kid wants to sit in the VERY back. Beginners mistake.
This is a very dark selfie. I was still using a camera phone that was honestly only meant to be used as a phone based on the quality you see here. The camera lens was merely an excuse to charge more. Anyhow….my mother is on the right and my maternal grandmother is on the left. We were at the reception for my cousin’s wedding. It was a very special day because of a very special and unique relationship with this cousin. We had gone decades…..literally decades without communicating. Not because of any animosity but due to just a strange and unfortunate set of circumstances and because life happens sometimes. Then I found her on FB…..and the rest, they say is history. My grandmother got to see her great granddaughters for the first time in a very long time….one of which was the bride. A great day, indeed.
And the most recent. This was Halloween 2015. Just five….almost six months ago. I bought little man a coat that doubled as a Paw Patrol costume. He saw it and had to have it. I, of course, complied. And then the unthinkable…..he left it at daycare. On a Friday evening. The night before Halloween. We headed over to Walmart and found these Batman pajamas for a steal. A Halloween costume that’s actually practical? Yes, please. Not one to be upstaged by a toddler, I dug in my closet and put together my own 80s rock star costume channeling the lead singer of Flock of Seagulls. A fun night was had by all.
Perhaps selfies aren’t the evil that I believed at one time. Perhaps they are merely the visual equivalent of the blog I’m writing right now.