Love them or hate them, selfies have become one of the most common ways people express themselves on social media. But can there be a deeper significance behind selfies? Within the past couple of weeks, students across the nation discussed whether or not a selfie is a form of creative expression or narcissism in our #DoNowSelfies post. We asked students Do you think selfies are a form of creative expression that communicate a message? Or do you see them as bad-quality photos posted online by narcissists? Or somewhere in between? Would you consider them an updated version of the artistic self portrait, visual communication, or something else?
The earliest use of the word selfie occurred in 2002 when a young man posted a photo of himself after a friend’s 21st birthday party to an ABC Online forum. From then on, the word has grown in popularity. From teenagers to celebrities, people enjoy posting a picture of themselves at a baseball game or out with friends. There are around 57 million photos posted with the hashtag– #selfie — on Instagram. In fact, in 2013, Oxford Dictionary declared “selfie” as the word of the year and Pew Research reported that 91% of teenagers have taken a selfie.
Students expressed why they liked or disliked selfies. Many participated in the conversation by tweeting their own selfies. Overall, most students didn’t see any problems with selfies and admitted they can be fun to take with friends, but they also stressed how they should not be taken every single day.
It Boosts Confidence!
Some students argued that taking a selfie shows you’re comfortable with how you look.
— Amrita G (@amritagfauhs4A) March 28, 2014
— Landon™ (@landonburgos) March 12, 2014
But Selfies are Annoying
While other students felt that selfies are pointless and also could be a form of narcissism.
— Ericka (@acaciaislife01) March 14, 2014
— Christopher M. (@chrismfauhs2b) March 28, 2014
— Brittany Deweaver (@BrittanyD2016) March 13, 2014
Selfies Are Okay
Others neither hated or loved selfies.
— Michelle J. (@you_tell_mee) March 12, 2014
@18elav That's a great way to put it. I guess it pretty much IS all about the "context"of the photo.
— Simone Conde (@sconde15) March 14, 2014
— Tony, Tony Boutwell (@tonyboutwell_) March 14, 2014
Is A Selfie a Form of Creative Expression?
Students questioned whether or not a selfie could be a form of art.
@marcusdylan33 I totally agree! It can show major milestones and it's easily shared! Just make sure it's appropriate!
— Jes (@part_dolphin) March 13, 2014
— $ACHI (@AHA_sachi) March 28, 2014
— Aspen Bias (@aspenr_b) March 13, 2014
Don’t Take Too Many Now
Many students stressed that people should not post a selfie every single day.
— н α я ρ є я♌️ (@ness_harper) March 14, 2014
— Heber Jenson (@JensonHeber) March 13, 2014
— Sami (@saminabs) March 13, 2014
Have You Taken A Selfie Today?
Students also posted selfies of themselves with friends in class or in walking in their hometown.
— pablomaster (@pablomaster89) March 24, 2014
— Perry (@AHA_Perry) March 28, 2014
— Lexee Dawn (@Lexee_Dawn) March 13, 2014