If there is one innovation that has taken the world by storm, it is a selfie. Earlier we roamed around with our cameras mustering courage to ask a passerby to click our picture. And then later realized that either the picture was blurred or we were looking ungainly (fat!) only because of the bad angle; we muttered a silent curse as we did away with the picture. How we wished that others could see us from our eyes and could take pictures of us that were stunning just like we were. Or better still, how we wished we could capture ourselves. Lo and behold, we can do that now and how!
Enter smartphones and front cameras. God’s errr smartphone’s gift to mankind. A solo traveler’s best friend, a teen’s delight and a gathering’s ecstasy. The photograph is never the same again Then came the baap of all nuisance selfie stick. Now groups spend less time in connecting and having fun and more time in clicking well-posed for group selfies. Head to any tourist destination and you will find people in various stages of clicking a selfie. I even saw a couple hold their kiss again and again to get that perfect selfie. Yikes!
We all have taken selfies and enjoyed sharing the nice ones too. Some using filters to create pretty effects. But just like everything else, selfie taking has reached annoying proportions now especially when one is traveling. It is bugging enough that your kids talk so much; even more tiresome when people edge you away because they want to capture their picture with a caged lion.
I was in Louvre admiring the gorgeous pieces of Art. Agreed everyone wanted a selfie with the Mona Lisa which seemed disappointingly small and was barricaded away for the snob value. But there were other masterpieces on display that one could not get enough of. But there were people who would just pop up in front of a painting to click a selfie without so much as a glance at the gorgeous painting. Why? What will you do with that selfie?
The other day at Mysore Zoo, I found a young lady clicking a selfie in a resting area. I wondered what was picture worthy there when her friend asked her the same question. She said, “I am here so at least let me take a selfie!” Some logic that! I mean I get it that you wish to document moments but has travel and vacation reduced to this? What moments are you enjoying when all you do is grab a spot and click a picture?
I have barely any pictures of the vacations I took in my childhood but the memories are vivid. I wonder if the memories today are created specifically for social media. Are we posing and pouting to get that perfect picture losing out on the sights and sounds, conversation and cheer? Not to mention that selfie taking can be risky as has been proven by multiple accidents where people have hung from cliffs or posed with a wild animal or a waterfall and have died.
While selfie mania shows no signs of abating, I wonder if like other fads it will eventually settle down to some form of normal? I sure hope so.
What do you think? Do you enjoy taking selfies? Or do you find them annoying?
Pic courtesy: Vladimir Gjorgiev at Shutterstock