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Selfies Are The New Poetry - Society
Selfies Are The New Poetry - Society

Video: Selfies Are The New Poetry - Society

Video: Selfies Are The New Poetry - Society
Video: Pressure To Be Perfect | Spoken Word Poetry 2023, March

The Oxford Dictionary defines a selfie as a photo of yourself taken with a smartphone or webcam and posted on social media. This means that the concept of "selfie" is at the intersection of technology (camera), art (the centuries-old tradition of self-portraits) and society (social networks).

Morning selfie with a cat

Many people do not like their own photos, even if friends claim that they are great. It seems that in the photo we do not look like ourselves. And this has a simple reason. We get an idea of our appearance, long and hard looking at our reflection in the mirror. And since our faces are naturally asymmetrical, the image of ourselves is very different from the image that other people see.

And this is where selfies come to the rescue - an excellent research tool that can help bridge the gap between self-image and how others perceive us. We no longer need a photographer, which means that photography has a chance to become more sincere and direct. All those morning selfies with a cat and a cup of coffee are examples of such changes. As art critic Linda Hudson notes, technology to simplify and accelerate shooting helps us to "slow down" ourselves. Now, when everyone always has a camera with him, we can easily save any moment, we learn to notice and look at the world like artists.

Media theorist Charisse L'Pry calls selfies "the art of conscious self-reflection." Before, to understand themselves and their lives, people wrote diaries, now they take photographs. Instagram and Pinterest are gaining momentum, while zhezheshechka and lyrushechka are fading, and even in them the amount of visual content begins to prevail over text. This is just one fragment of the global shift from the use of text to the use of images as the main means of knowing and describing the world. Our culture is becoming more visually oriented every year, and the situation will not change in the near future. “Selfies are new poetry,” says L'Pri.

At first glance, this transition from describing one's inner world to photographing one's own appearance cannot but be alarming. But there are pluses in this process.

“We make stories for you because you don't keep yours,” wrote Douglas Copeland in Microsoft's Slaves. Selfies are much easier than a diary, and therefore a lot more people have started to save their stories.

Another great writer, Neil Gaiman, called for "telling stories that only you can tell, because there will always be writers who are more skillful or smarter than you, but you are the only one in the world." Taking selfies, each of us tells a story that only he can tell.

According to Charisse L'Pri, selfie satisfies four of our needs:

  • Self-esteem. Selfies taken at our best moments are objective evidence that we are beautiful, sexy, successful, etc.
  • Affiliation. Pictures with our loved ones remind us that there are people who love and appreciate us.
  • Value. Selfies taken while traveling or on holiday represent our goals; others, like rainbow avatars, talk about what we believe in.
  • The control. When we take selfies, we are in control of how others see us.

Narcissus behind the scenes

It may seem that there is not so much art in taking out a phone and pressing a button, but this is not so, because the art of photography is primarily about choosing what to shoot and what to leave behind the scenes. Moreover, the very unpretentiousness of the telephone camera makes the photographers equal in their means. There is no way to stand out due to expensive optics or mastery of shooting technique. All that counts is artistic vision.

The second global shift is the disappearance of the boundary between artist and audience. In the original Internet, readers and writers were clearly separated; in Web 2.0, everyone became a writer. And the same thing happens with photography. It is quite natural and logical that the first thing we did was aim the lens at ourselves. After all, Socrates called first of all to know oneself.

Selfies are considered by many to be a purely narcissistic activity, but, in fact, they are nothing more than a diary or self-portrait. Balance matters: an artist who paints only self-portraits, or a writer who writes only about himself, are self-centered authors who annoy us regardless of the genre they choose.

Perfect shot

When the balance is upset and the user strives to create the perfect selfie, the situation becomes far from rosy. You may well have read on the internet the heartbreaking story of Danny Bowman, a British teenager who dreamed of becoming a model. The agency turned him down and Danny decided to take the perfect selfie. For several months he devoted ten hours a day to this task, and then, in despair, decided to commit suicide. The teenager did not cope with this either. He was, of course, cured, but now British psychologists are going to recognize "selfmania" as a new mental disorder.

The story of the perfect selfie is most likely a fiction, but the popularity it has gained speaks volumes about its psychological relevance. At first glance, it is only a modern adaptation of the myth of Narcissus, upon closer examination, Danny's story turns out to be almost the complete opposite. Narcissus was easily liked by everyone, and the modern character tried his best, but he could not; Narcissus instantly fell in love with his reflection, and Danny among the thousands of photographs never found one that would satisfy him; the only thing Narcissus wanted was to admire his own reflection, while the teenager wanted to be seen; he obsessively sought the approval of the world around him to compensate for his inability to be himself and to please himself. This is almost the exact opposite of narcissism, very close to self-obsession.

This is not to say that the emergence of a selfie added to our focus on ourselves, it just translated it into a visual format. We have always been obsessed with ourselves, now - thanks to the dominance of selfies on the Internet - we just started to see and realize it.

Selfies can be both a manifestation of self-obsession and a cure for it. It can be assumed that self-therapy will soon take its place among the different types of art therapy.

Selfies are available and popular, but most importantly, they are perfect for working with self-expression and self-acceptance. Perhaps in the near future, self-therapy will even become the main means of combating self-addiction.

Five rules for a healthy selfie

1. Selfie is a form of self-reflection and capturing what is happening. You save significant moments - for yourself, for friends, for posterity. What you see fit to keep gives you the opportunity to understand what you value and what you don't.

2. Shoot for yourself first. Ask yourself if you like selfies. Once you start judging your photos with the likes you get, you come very close to the borderline between self-expression and self-obsession.

3. Think of selfies as art. Explore your image, go beyond boundaries, experiment.

4. Remember that selfies are not perfect. Don't try to appear perfect - explore your own imperfection to understand what makes you yourself.

5. Deliberately display pictures. Not all photographs need to be shown to others, some are just for you, and they are the most valuable.

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