Pro and contra, trend: selfies

Proof of performance for the module Information Society, Ethics, Policy (IGEP) in the Information Science course at the University of Applied Sciences in Chur

Where there are advocates, opponents usually also express themselves. That’s why I won’t leave the two articles "Pro Selfies: Why We Love Selfies" uncommented. Although I have already taken selfies, and online I’m not a fan of these self-portraits. I want you with one pair persuaded targeted arguments that there are definitely more sensible pastimes.

1. Selfies are superficial
Of course, you can of course give yourself on a selfie. And usually they are not processed. Nevertheless, the first photo is rarely used. You style yourself up, look for a suitable place and pose accordingly. It is not about inner values, nor about the person who photographs himself. The focus is on appearances. And some seem to be willing to go under the knife for a good selfie (read the article "The Science of Selfies").

2. Selfies are for spinners
One more absurd than the other. From selfies in space, to self-portrayals at funerals to the so-called sellofies (see picture below). The selfie trend works according to the motto "the crazier the better". You no longer want to just look beautiful. But the question arises how crazy you really have to be to get such ideas at all. It seems senseless to me to wrap my face with duct tape or to make a terrible grimace. Of course you can have fun, but at some point this lollipop is sucked and just not funny anymore.

Sellotape Selfies – Sellofies (VirtualNights, 2014)

3. Taking selfies is a waste of time
When you hear about teenagers like Danny Bowman (we reported in the post "Mirror, Mirror – Am I hooked?"), You might think there was nothing more important to do. There are people who have to put their lives in order while others prepare their hair for a selfie. Children all over the world go hungry and thirsty while others waste their time snapping. Many go to work, take care of their families and take care of their households, while others take hundreds of photos just to put one online. It looks like the world has no other problems except finding the perfect selfie.

4. Selfies are pointless
A lot of what we do brings us benefits. However, I have not yet found out what we have from selfies. We neither get money for it, nor do I look better in reality. It also doesn’t keep me healthy or make me more intelligent. And I don’t have anything to eat because of that, nor do these images warm. So what’s in it for us? Of course you can strengthen your ego with the likes you get. But don’t I feel much better when I get a compliment on the street, on the train or at the exit? For my part, I can’t see any benefits from taking a selfie.

These main arguments should make it clear that this trend is neither justified nor useful. It’s just a fad that we can only hope will end soon.

As the Gauls would say: they spin, the selfie snaps.

Author: Monika Stucki
Co-author: Jeannine Näf

In the previous entry we already got to know some positive sides of selfies, but of course that was not all! Here, as promised, four more arguments that speak for our popular little self-portraits:

5. Selfies bring us closer together
Physically getting closer to someone has never been as easy as it is today!
Because all you have to do is pull your smartphone out of your pocket and express your wish to capture the moment on a selfie … And before you can click the shutter button, it is of course compulsory to be so close as possible, so that everything fits nicely into the picture. From now on, we can confidently say goodbye to the embarrassing "while-pretending-yawning-stretching-unobtrusively-and-putting-arm-around-his / his-shoulders".

6. Selfies are intimate
They show us, for example, where our friends or our favorite actors spend their holidays, who was with them, what they ate in the restaurant and what clothing they were wearing. And so some selfie posters give us a very deep insight into their lives, which we would never have gotten without these photographic self-portraits.

7. Selfies help us to remember
Be it at home with the new dog, in Egypt on a camel, in the Maldives while snorkeling, or on a camping trip with your best friends … taking selfies is a perfect tool to capture all the important moments in your life forever. You can also put your diary aside because writing by hand takes far too long anyway and paper and ink cost money. And anyway it says: "A picture says more than 1000 words".

8. And last but not least: Selfies push the ego
Why do we love taking photos of ourselves? Are we secretly all little narcissists? For some, this may be the case, but I’m sure that only a small part of the selfie posters are self-interested egocentrics. It is often the case that we post selfies when we finally think we do not have a bad hair day or do not look like we have been through the night. And to receive confirmation from his friends’ comments and likes that what they see is not that bad is just good for our self-esteem.

Author: Jeannine Näf
Co-author: Monika Stucki

Yes, I admit it. I’m a regular selfie snapper and I don’t regret any of them (until now)! And when I look around a little on the profiles of my Facebook friends, they are teeming with these little pictures. Unfortunately, it is currently the case that the media only rarely find positive, but mainly negative headlines regarding selfies (as for example in our last entry Spieglein, Spieglein – Am ich hooked?). … for me this is all the more reason to finally emphasize that selfies are by no means just evil!

In this and the next blog entry I have put together eight points for you that make selfies so great. Here are the first four:

1. Selfies are honest
Sure, from the many photos you have taken, you only choose the very best to post it online, but: Experience shows that if you take the pictures with your smartphone, you don’t really bother to do it to retouch your shiny forehead or your slightly wider hip afterwards with Photoshop. On the whole, one can assume that the people depicted must have actually looked like this, at least when the picture was taken.

2. Selfies are entertaining
Let’s be honest … what pleases you more than clicking through the charming and charming pictures of your secret crush in a boring minute? And even the embarrassing initial selfies of the otherwise serious work colleagues, including beer bottles and expressive poses, have cheered you up in a few sad moments.

3. Taking selfies is easy
To take a reasonably respectable or extraordinary selfie, you don’t have to be an award-winning photographer, nor do you have to look like Germany’s next top model. All you need is a working camera and, depending on that, some time. It is uncomplicated, costs nothing, does not require a lot of skill and is nevertheless a lot of fun in most cases.

4. Selfies provide topics of conversation
Because after we have looked at a particularly beautiful, ugly, twisted or absurd selfie, we can and want to discuss, analyze and interpret what we have seen with someone. Selfies are therefore an extremely useful tool for skilfully escaping the familiar, uncomfortable silence during your visit to the hairdresser or the blind date.

If these reasons could not convince you that selfies are great in themselves, you will definitely find it in second View part of our pro selfie range.

Author: Jeannine Näf
Co-author: Monika Stucki

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