Tell me what’s wrong with selfies.

All of us, even me, see someone stretching their arm out in the street, making their friends crunch in behind them, and silently judge them. Just a little bit.

Why?

Face it, selfie culture is our culture. It’s permeated almost every facet of our lives. And even though we judge the people with selfie sticks, you can bet we will take the same selfie in the same place as soon as that person moves out of the way. So we might as well embrace it.

The criticism that generally gets thrown around is that we focus too much on the picture and not enough on the experience.

That’s fair. But I think we’ve managed to find a balance.

Selfies, posed pictures and impromptu photo shoots are just another way of bonding. Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t feel even the slightest bit affirmed when your new friend takes a selfie with you.

You don’t take selfies with just anyone, after all.

I’ll cede the point that taking constant, vain, selfies probably isn’t a help to anyone. But if it makes you feel confident about yourself, go for it. I’ll probably scroll past it on Instagram, but besides that it has no impact on my life.

As far as I see it, the people who take selfies aren’t these people. The bigger culture is surrounding groups of people who want to remember doing whatever they’re doing through a photograph.

We’ve always done this. The only thing different is the person taking the picture.

Most of us are not using selfies, or photos in general, to focus on ourselves. We force our friends to be in them, or we cut out everything but our eyes so we can get the view behind us. We send Snapchat videos of our friends doing stupid shit, and if it’s funny enough we save it.

The only difference is it’s an iPhone and Cloud saving the footage instead of a video camera.

I’m not saying everything we do should be about that selfie moment. Not everything is a photo-op.

I’m saying that there’s nothing wrong with snapping a selfie with your friend on a night out in Oxford, you probably won’t remember it anyway.

There’s nothing wrong with hyperextending your arms in order to fit the entire background in the frame. The older generation may not approve, but when have they ever?

Back in the day, the new generation had rock ‘n’ roll, hippie culture, those terrible 1980s outfits. As far as I know, the older generation was never too keen on those trends.

There’s always going to be criticism. There are always going to be people who say we’re dumb and wrong, that we’re disconnected.

They clearly have never had a group of people shining phone lights on you to improve your lighting, while three others yell out posing tips and two people snap pics in portrait mode to make sure they get the best angle.

It’s technological and the origin is inorganic, sure. But the experiences it captures are natural and as free as what’s come before.

burnskl2@miamioh.edu

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