Let’s do a selfie

September 12, 2014

2014-09-12 13_52_50-Miltimes 9-11-14 issue.pdf - Adobe ReaderIt is all the rage these days, but it is nothing new… people taking photographs of themselves. The greatest difference today is that is easier to do since the creation of smartphones, digital cameras and webcams. Unlike the past, when people used a camera that had a timer, attached it to a tripod; placed it on a shelf or table top. You would then set the timer and hurry to get in front of the camera before the timer would go off and the photo was taken. Or better yet attend the fair or amusement park and go into one of those photo booths and get some black and whites done. That certainly made our day. Nowadays, all a person has to do is to hold their smartphone about an arm’s length or pointed at a mirror and start taking photos. You can choose your background, who’s in it with you and location. And those photos can be instantly uploaded to a number of social networking services such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbir, and Twitter. A lot of older Americans don’t get what is behind the rise in interest in this strange phenomenon. But I certainly can tell you, it continues to grow in popularity, especially among the 18-34 age demographic. My view is not alone; in fact major industries, business and governments have all taken notice as well. For them it is about new markets, advertisement and future consumers. A number of new companies have emerged and are benefiting from the use of this new technology. The real question is why do people take selfies? The psychological factors vary, but could include: to get attention from as many people as possible; to get a self-esteem boost; to show off; to get a specific person’s attention; boredom, or perhaps some fun. There is meaning behind why we do it, and why it has become such a massive trend. And those meanings vary and may include as a way to stay connected with family, interest among friends, colleagues or to capture a special moment in time as it happens. Today, taking a selfie is mainstream and part of our daily lives. Its reemergence and widespread use is changing how we think and feel about the community, world, family and ourselves. These self portraits in these moments of time are also helping us to cope with what others think as well. It is helping us to see the world through a whole new light and giving voice and self-expression to a new generation. But in all cases, a selfie captures what it sees and sometimes that in itself is the truth. How about this, isn’t it time to take a selfie with your community in the background? Now, hold that pose… No duck lips please!!! What do you think? Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at andrewiiicalhoun@gmail.com, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee.