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The Selfie Culture For Dummies[edit]


The current trend with individuals of modern societies nowadays are to take photos of themselves and uploading it to the social media sites. One of the definition provided by the urban dictionary is; 'A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.[1]

Perhaps that is a very crude and personalized definition of selfie provided by a particular person who contributed the definition on the Urban Dictionary website. An easy way to define a 'selfie' is a picture taken of a particular person by the particular person themselves. This is usually evident with the use of their own arm holding and clicking the camera shutter button.

For further detailed information, please refer to Wikipedia's main page on Selfie.

A Form of Mental Illness?[edit]

Scientists have found out that the 'selfie' trend can be linked with the mental health condition where someone is very obsessed on the way he or she looks. Additionally with the increase use or smartphones with front-screen cameras, it is no surprise that most people are doing 'selfies' as that seems to be the main function of the front-camera on smartphones. Dr David Veal, a psychiatrist have stated that two out of three of patients that came to see him since the rise of camera phones have a tendency to take 'selfies' repeatedly.[2]

'Selfies' can be seen as a form of addiction where some people cannot stop taking photo of themselves. They seem to be trying to achieve a better shot of themselves and share it into their preferred social networking sites. There was the case of Danny Bowman, who has developed an addiction to taking 'selfies'. He would took up to 200 shots of himself in a day. He has been diagnosed with a body dysmorphic disorder and even have suicidal tendencies.[3] It is possible that another factor that contributes to the rise of the 'selfie' culture is the role of social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Both promotes a form of sharing media content specifically photos to their networking medium.

It is indeed something to be worried about but does this apply to most cases of people taking 'selfies'? It is best to look into the various reasons why people take selfies. In most cases, indeed they did it to show their so-called beautiful/handsome faces but for some perhaps it act as a form of creating memories. This can be evident when they take 'selfies' in-front of historical monuments or even with important persons or celebrities.

Apart from that, group 'selfies' are also taken where a group shot of people are taken with one person who is also included in the group shot holding the camera and pressing the shutter button. Will that perhaps lead to mental illness?

In Popular Culture[edit]

As 'selfies' are becoming a trend in the current mainstream societies, various figures can actually be seen to be performing this trend. Perhaps the most prominent one is by President Barack Obama. On the 10th of December 2013 during the Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service in Johannesburg, the US president took a 'selfie' with Denmark's prime minister Helle Thorning Schmidt and also British prime minister David Cameron.[4]

The incident created quite a buzz in the world wide news and futher acknowledges the 'selfie' trend in mainstream society.

  1. ^ "Selfie". Urban Dictionary. Retrieved 19 April 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  2. ^ Keating, Fiona. "Selfies Linked to Narcissism, Addiction and Mental Illness, Say Scientists". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "'Selfie Addiction' Is No Laughing Matter, Psychiatrists Say". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  4. ^ NEWCOMB, ALYSSA. "President Obama Poses for Selfie at [[Nelson Mandela]]'s Memorial Service". ABC NEWS. Retrieved 20 April 2014.  URL–wikilink conflict (help)