Monday, 20 January 2014

The disputed issue of the instagram selfie

Instagram. Everyone's got it, seen it, or at least heard of it. Connotations of hashtags, the selection of filters that range from 'Toaster' to 'Walden' to 'Kelvin' (but let's be frank, who actually uses 'Kelvin' and its accompanying hideous frame) and #instafood are brought to mind. But Instagram also prompts a more disputed issue - the love hate concept of the instagram selfie. 

On the one hand, for the selfie lovers, Instagram has made the concept of the 'serious' selfie where one actually tries to look attractive acceptable for users on this social media platform. Before instagram, we were all cringing at the very thought of such an image, reminiscent of our days on Bebo where if you didn't comment on my picture, give me a love or had me in your top 16, our friendship was effectively as over as MSN. But now, with optional filters and frames, it has suddenly become acceptable to post a photo with an accompanying caption about our plans for the evening. Typically, I will come across several selfies with captions that read along the lines of 'Can't wait to see my girls tonight!' accompanied with the appropriate hashtags of '#predrinks #girls #fun #drunk'. (I ask - does the quantity of hashtags reflect the level of the need for the affirmation that your social media life is successful?) On the other hand, there is the 'not-so-serious' selfie, which has a vital ingredient: one or more other bodies other than yourself present. With this selfie, regardless of the accompanying toe-curling hashtags, there is photographic evidence of a social gathering, which to be honest is a lot more interesting than you posing in your bedroom solo. This image contains something that the 'serious' selfie doesn't: spontaneity, while the 'serious' selfie screams the need for likes in order to be affirmed as instagram-acceptable. 

I must confess, the instagram selfie is my pet hate. To begin with, if I'm following you, I probably know your face, and I don't need to see it every day as you interchange your angles and filters. For one, I am certainly not going to turn around and say, 'babe, I think you look better in Valencia, Rise washes you out'. I also don't need to see it on other social media platforms such as facebook and twitter, which you've so kindly gone out of your way to share your picture on. I also do not understand those who take these selfies on public transport. It's precarious enough trying to reply to a snapchat in public, but a perfectly angled instagram selfie must have required some serious and obvious arm work that probably knocked out the person sitting next to you. 

At the end of the day, each to their own with regards to expressing yourself (or your face, perchance in a more sepia tone today) on instagram. Some of these instagram selfies are posted by friends of mine, and I simply must grin and bear it as I scroll through. Heck, they're probably sick to the back teeth of my attempted creative snaps of sunrises (#notahipster). Instagram is what you make it. However, you can count on one thing. I certainly won't be joining in on the 'serious' selfie crew any time soon - especially in Kelvin. Ta for now. #nofilter

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