The visual encounter of anything is the first and one of the strongest impressions. If you see yourself zoomed in, with that slaying smile, standing near the statue or boozing in a disco, you realize how beautiful was the moment and how great were you. Hence according to me, a selfie is a pursuit of a balanced relationship between self and the other, the individual and the world.
Why is selfie a “pursuit”?
Selfies, with a stress on the “self”, is today the easiest medium to befriend with our own selves and make sense of the world you reside. The selfie, like any other photo, captures the moment and makes it important, however banal it is. What is different about selfies is that it captures you along with the moment. It becomes a thread connecting self with the memories. Otherwise, in normal photos, you rarely recognize yourself among the bunch of blurred faces. All you see is the bedazzled disco or magnificent statue. But can you confidently say that you were an important part of that memory?
Therefore, selfies create that connection between self and the other which is a “close-up”, refined and hence brings back the memories where you can see yourself clearly and confidently. The selfie, like any other photo, captures the moment and makes it important, however banal it is.
What is different about selfies is that it captures you along with the moment. It becomes a thread connecting self with the memories. The selfie, like any other photo, captures the moment and makes it important, however banal it is.
Pursuit becomes a futile war
The biggest drawback of any human activity is the excess obsession with it. Any pursuit is good and healthy unless it prioritizes the annihilation of the other or the sanity of the self. Similar is the case with the pursuit of selfies too! Selfies are the good and easiest way to fall in love with yourself, but it is also the most dangerous way to annihilate the self. The pursuit of selfies does not end at clicking the perfect picture. It ends at posting them on the various social media accounts, where another pursuit begins!
The best selfie, unfortunately, is the one that the maximum number of likes and follows decide. Without even realizing, a person uploading her selfie is no more concerned about self. Many accidents and deaths have been recorded while posing and capturing “the trending selfie”. The social media validation becomes the yardsticks to measure the social status of a person. In this way, a person tries to both win over self and control the outside world. If your selfie has many likes and comments, that, of course, means people admire you and so do you. But when there are less or no likes, you look down upon yourself.
The initial purpose of a selfie to bond a person with the moment and consider the self as important, is overturned to same old saga but only from a different camera. In simple words, when the pursuit of selfie reaches the social media platform, maximum likes implies pride, self-confidence and status. As the likes decrease, so does the self-worth which is unfortunately not one’s identity, but the followers on social media.
Selfie is self-love not #selflove
The pursuit of the perfect selfie is undoubtedly an expression of freedom and self-representation. Selfie is the trending word for self-love. It allows a person to embrace their natural self and be confident about it. Sharing it on social media is also healthy to the extent that it leads one to community building and interaction with new people and ideas. But, when self love becomes just a trending hashtag on social media or the various inbuilt filters in the cameras become the mirror, then there is something wrong in the pursuit.
This pursuit of perfect selfie that is trying to reach the heights of negative self-obsession is nothing but Icarus’s waxed wing. Once it melts, only the self with #nofilters will be left. It is important to understand that neither a person requires a social validation to look the best nor can expect the world to be a pandora of positive validation.
It isn’t exactly wrong to admire self through selfies. But the moment when the stress over self is overstressed to the extent that the original self is lost in filters and followers, selfie loses its importance. Therefore, the pursuit of the perfect selfie is good until it preserves the self and its memories together, otherwise it is just another medium to lose the self in the crowd of hashtags, filters and followers.
Picture credit: New York Post
Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.