Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

This is a world where everyone is famous

Social Media Marketing

By Paola peralta (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Tweets. Hashtags. Duckfaces. Selfies. LIKES.

We like those.

With the abundance of social media in our lives, we can create a world that, quite literally, only revolves around ourselves. When I am feeling down I can snap a selfie and put it on Facebook or Instagram only to receive compliments and likes that are tailored just for me.

When we tweet and use Facebook, we make our lives accessible to the world. Our social network sites are our marks in the digital world and belong solely to us, as they serve to define who we are. Since these social network sites nurture “likes” and complimentary comments, we grow to expect our “friends” to make us feel important. Social networks allow us to form celebrity complexes for ourselves. 

Think about the last time you added a friend on Facebook; were they really that great? Do you honestly love all 1000 people who are obligated to like at least one of your photos or statuses? Most likely not, but a like is still a like. Maybe we expect reassurance from other people and treat them like our fans instead of “friends.”

The celebrity complex is dangerous because it can lead to paranoia, low self-esteem, and a great loss of time. While I am only one person who can testify to the existence of the celebrity complex, anyone can reason out its prominence in our world. Why else would we be taking selfies and updating others on our new haircuts? Perhaps we do so out of boredom, or perhaps we are prompted by an expectation of a return on our social network investment.

Social networks, particularly personal profiles, are designed just for us, by us. We only “follow” artists we like, people we are interested in, and political reporting we agree with. We let Facebook and Twitter vet out the content that is well-suited for us and we do not engage with a multiplicity of other perspectives on current events, pop culture, and the like.

Our social networks are our managers – they manage media and blind us to the “unnecessary.”

Our friends lift us up when we snap our fingers – or our cameras.

We are the celebrities in a world where everyone is famous.

Irony time: Follow Miss Musings on Twitter and like her on Facebook for more blog updates! Let’s have a conversation. 

#nofilter: Are we selfie obsessed?

The selfie craze hit the scene as soon as Instagram® exploded with sunsets, breakfasts and faces. I explored the selfie world before it was hip with not an iPhone, but a digital camera.

Yes, I said a digital camera. Remember those?

 

Look at this dinosaur!

Look at this dinosaur! Source: http://www.wikibest.com/Digital_Camera

 

Evidently, at the ripe age of 13 I had nothing better to do than take photos of myself, so I frequently took “selfies” with my gray, clunky Canon. Since I had nowhere to post these archaic photos, I eventually deleted them. It was not satisfying to possess one hundred pictures of my face back then, yet it is so common to host many pictures of our faces now.

Why? We are selfie obsessed.

Now don’t get me wrong: taking pictures of ourselves is not a selfish activity; sometimes we look great and want to remember our sparkling skin and perfect hair days. I only consider selfie taking somewhat inappropriate when it is gratuitous. For example, taking an Oscars-inspired selfie at the end of a day out with friends is a wonderful way to commemorate your time together. When you take ten different selfies while ignoring your friends, you are not all that “like”-able. As someone who does not own a smart phone, I do not feel a burning desire to capture my new bangs at a certain angle when I am out-and-about; documenting my face distracts from the moment.

In the same way, selfie taking is a status symbol: it gives us an excuse to whip out our expensive phones and, quite literally, show the world who our true friends are. Only so many people can fit in one shot (Ellen DeGeneres knows this all too well).

 

Photo courtesy of gamedayr.com

Photo courtesy of gamedayr.com

 

On a positive note, selfies are very convenient. This is why we take so many. Not everyone wants to ask a stranger to take a picture of her and her friend. Not only is it awkward, but it puts an expensive phone in the hands of an unfamiliar person. For this reason I enjoy taking selfies every once in a while; after all, it is a casual, no-fuss way to get a picture of me and a friend.

According to Seventeen magazine, selfies are also viewed as statements of self-esteem. While it may be quite a feat to snap a picture of your no makeup, or goodness forbid, #nofilter self, I would not say the action represents the recognition of your inner strength. Within seconds of “selfie” taking, the photo is up on various social networking sites, free to be liked and commented on with hoards of clicks and keystrokes. Just snap a picture, post it, and let the warming reassurance flood into your feed.

To me, if you need someone to “like” your face before you like your face, your selfie taking is the antithesis of showcasing your self confidence. But taking a selfie to commemorate an occasion – without taking fifteen of your outfit beforehand – is perfectly “selfie healthy.”

Do you take selfies for the likes or for the memories?