By Christopher Simon
The Age of the Selfie
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to interests of the others. ~Philippians 2:3-4
The term “selfie,” used to describe a picture one has taken of oneself, usually with one’s cell phone camera, is loaded with insinuations of narcissistic self-centeredness, and perhaps with good reason. The vast majority of the pictures taken throughout the entire history of the world have reportedly been taken in just the last few years, with the advent of the digital camera and its ubiquitous cousin the cell phone camera. There are now small video cameras that mount just about anywhere and enable their users to get footage of just about anything, from skiing down an alpine slope to deep-sea diving, which has added to our ability to document our lives.
But what is the point of all of this documentation? Are our friends and
families that interested in looking at all of these pictures and videos of us or are they for our own viewing pleasure? Or do they really just serve to certify that we were actually at the concert or visited the Eiffel tower? It’s nice
that we can so easily share pictures and videos, but we run the risk of missing the experience in question if we are only
interested in getting the great picture or video, and perhaps more perilous still is the prospect that a self-absorbed generation and culture will become even more so.
We would all do well to remember that many experiences are best experienced by just being there and don’t need to be photographed or recorded.