The word – “selfie” – like it or not, has become a part of our cultural vocabulary. “Selfie” refers to what the art world might name “self portrait” or the literary world might call “autobiography.” It is a glimpse into a person’s life at a particular moment in time. We ordinarily encounter “selfies” through social media sites – Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. Other media sources have captured ordinary and not so ordinary people in the act of “selfie-ing”. (Remember the photo of world leaders taking a selfie?) The term and the medium for sharing is new but the concept is not.
Each “selfie” shared or posted becomes a window to how we see ourselves and our place in the world. One image might show our playful side while another reveals a much darker place within us. Our pose and those who might be included in the picture with us suggest our mood at that particular time and the kind of company-we-keep relationships that are important to us.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and so they are. A treasured Christmas gift this year was a trip to coastal North Carolina to visit my mom and brothers and their families. So here is a “selfie” I took…
When I posted it on Facebook, my daughter commented, “that is not a selfie”. Why not? I ask. It says a lot to me and gives those who see it some clues about me. It may raise questions you want to ask. It might lead you to conclusions that could be true or false about me. What you make of it becomes a part of how you know and understand me.
Long live the “selfie” and the thousands of words it is worth!