In the year 2003, we were given our first front-facing camera on mobile devices. By 2013, the word “selfie” was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary, thus acknowledging the relevance it had acquired in society. In a mere period of ten years, the selfie emerged to become a cultural phenomenon flooding our phones’ memory and social media feeds. The selfie obsession had begun. Since then, songs have been written about the selfie,  while Instagram, followed by several other social media platforms, added what we know as “filters” which made your selfie appear fun, engaging and high quality. Such is the popularity of selfies that now we have multiple studies that inspect what they represent, and both good and bad aspects have been pondered upon by academicians.  The selfie obsession as we know it today, however, now seems to be on the path of slow decline.

While we may be clicking a lot of selfies, do we do it with as much fervour as we used to say a few years ago? Or has it just become a chore that needs to be done?

Is The Selfie Obsession Dead?

You know a trend is on a downward spiral when Kim Kardashian West begins to doubt its popularity. While Kim declared selfies were a passe in 2017, she said in an interview a year later, “I don’t take selfies anymore. I don’t really like them anymore.” However, one must note here that Kim hasn’t yet given up on selfies completely, as clear from her Insta account.

But this does make us wonder whether selfies truly hold the same appeal today as they did when the phenomenon first rose to popularity. Come to think of it, any activity, no matter how popular, loses its charm if you do it day in day out. So while we may be clicking a lot of selfies, do we do it with as much fervour as we used to say a few years ago? Has it just become a chore that needs to be done?

READ ALSO: Posting Too Many Selfies? Bad News For You! 

Amateur Photography

Today, our phones provide us with picture quality like we have never seen before. At a superficial level, this suggests that people may click even more selfies, or at least that is what advertisements tell us. The huge availability of high quality mobile-camera, thousands of filters to choose from, combined with hundreds of editing apps motivates people to explore with a more broader frame than the one which only encompasses of their own face. Which is why many users choose to dabble in amateur photography in lieu of taking pictures of themselves these days. The availability of high pixel cameras, that are just a click away, has resulted in a desire to capture the world around us, giving rise to travel photography and food photography. Ayushi Sarkar, a college student in Kolkata feels that, “Everyone wants to be a photographer and make their Instagram look good. Selfies don’t look that great.”

A Different Form Of Narcissism

Most millennials today seem to think that selfies are too narcissistic for their taste. They resort to a prettier, more aesthetic type of rear photography. What works today in the oversaturated world of social media, is authenticity. Or at least the appearance of it.  This has given rise to the idea of “candids” or “fake candids”. In a candid, one’s friend clicks one’s picture in such a way that the subject appears to have been caught unaware. This results in a sort of spontaneity, albeit artificial that the measured and edited selfie cannot provide. “I think I look prettier in candids than I do in selfies. Rear photography always looks better”, said Srijani Ghosh, a postgraduate student based in Mumbai.

Most millennials today seem to think that selfies are too narcissistic for their taste. They resort to a prettier, more aesthetic type of rear photography.

A New Era

Selficcinos are proof that selfies are still very relevant and it’s not likely that we will stop seeing selfies on our Instafeed altogether, but the decline is fairly noticeable. Millennials seem to have moved on from selfies to pictures that are more carefully curated – taken against beautiful backgrounds. People take pictures of themselves that convey ease than the careful thought that goes into selfies. A recent trend, “#nofilter” also points at the gradual letting go of editing pictures, to give way to a more authentic social media experience.

Selfie or candid pics, or amateur photography, one this is for sure, while trends may change, we still to click pictures with our phone. The ease and convenience of carrying a high quality camera always with you is too good to give up on so soon. What changes though, is its focus.

READ ALSO: The Pursuit Of A Perfect Selfie – Is It All About Being In The Moment? 

Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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