Friday 27 March 2015

Caitlin McBride: Why I'm over 'selfies'

Published 17/12/2013 | 15:06

Well, technically I was never under them to begin with.

I've posted two selfies online - ever. Not two every day, every hour or every time I want attention. In my life. And there was just cause on both occasions.

When I was growing up, my mother fulfilled her parental duties by making me feel like the most important thing in the world. As I grew up, I realised I wasn't.  But our current share-every-second-of-your-life online culture has fed too many egos to count.

Does the entire world have only child syndrome? The rise of the selfie does not reflect a positive direction for modern society.

As far as celebrities are concerned, I get it. They live in a vacuous bubble, more than likely surrounded by yes people, many of whom are afraid to upset the cash cow. In their world, they literally are the star of the show.

Selfie queens include Georgia Salpa and Kelly Brook. Two undeniably beautiful women, both of whom make their living out of their looks.

Candice Swanepoel gives us a sneak peek of the new Victoria Secret video. (Instagram/CandiceSwanepoel)
Candice Swanepoel gives us a sneak peek of the new Victoria Secret video. (Instagram/CandiceSwanepoel)
Model Bar Refaeli wake-boards for her workout. (Instagram/Baer Refaeli)
Ellie Goulding posts a 'healthy' with a comedy twist. (Instagram/EllieGoulding)
Gisele enjoys a coconut water. (Instagram/OfficialGisele)
Gisele takes in her surroundings as she practises yoga. (Instagram/OfficialGisele)
Millie Mackintosh shares her 'healthy' of her salmon and scrambled egg breakfast. (Instagram/MillieMackintosh)
Top model Bar Refaeli tones up her core. (Instagram/BarRefaeli)
Millie Mackintosh, now married to Professor Green, shows off her TRX skills. (Instagram/MillieMackintosh)
Millie, an avid fan of the 'healthy' trend, shows off her grilled shrimp lunch. (Instagram/MillieMackintosh)
Miranda Kerr works out for her 'healthy'... not even the fabulous views could distract us from Kerr! (Instagram/MirandaKerr)
American actress Ashley Tisdale posts a snapshot of her practising ballet to tone up. (Instagram/AshleyTisdale)
Nothing's too tough for Klum! Give her two dogs and a mountain, no problem. (Instagram/HeidiKlum)
Jessica Simpson is toning up by running in her 'healthy'. (Instagram/JessicaSimpson)
Australian fashion model Lara Bingle gives her workout the thumbs up. (Instagram/LaraBingle)
TOWIE's Lucy Mecklenburgh can lift weights and still manage to keep a grin on her face. (Instagram/LucyMecklenburgh)

It's important for them to remain ever present in the public consciousness to make a living.

But what about the rest of us?

If I see one more person on Twitter mention they are 'enjoying themselves' somewhere with an attached photo of them pouting into a camera, I'm going to scream.

At 26, I'm far past the impressionable stage. I don't look at a celebrity and try to emulate their style or behaviour.  But, if I was a sixteen year old girl in 2013, completely unaware of a social life before Twitter or Facebook, my attitude, I'm sure, would be very different.

Celebrity culture has infiltrated our day-to-day behaviour, with normal men and women constantly posting photos of themselves online. Self indulgence has been normalised, to our downfall.

I'd be the first to admit that when I see a famous face posting a photo of their incredible bikini body, I'm jealous. I don't have a figure worthy of posting on the internet. And if I did, I would probably be just as guilty of over-sharing.

What is the purpose of one sharing a photo of just them on Instagram? Seriously, please tell me.

Are we all so collectively insecure that we need constant reassurance of our appearance?

The pre-crime 'selfie' that led to an arrest
The pre-crime 'selfie' that led to an arrest
Teenagers take a 'selfie' with Pope Francis - his first on Twitter
The 'White House Bathroom Selfie'
A missing camera captured this wild eagle 'selfie' in November
Darth Vader takes a selfie but gets the technique slightly wrong
#DrivingSelfie became a dangerous trend in 2013
#FuneralSelfie was also a trend in 2013
Hilary Duff takes a selfie with a twist. (Instagram/HilaryDuff)
A photo taken on stage at Limerick, tweeted with the caption "Totally tweeting a @ULSUEnts Limerick stage selfie...". Photo: Twitter/wheatus
American teenagers take selfies of themselves throughout Ireland for a video that went viral
American teenagers went viral with a video of 'Selfies throughout Ireland'
Michelle and Bo Obama take a 'selfie' together
Actress Meryl Streep uses her IPhone to take a photo of her and Hillary Clinton
Say cheese: David Cameron, Barack Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt pose for a selfie at Nelson Mandela's memorial while Michelle Obama looks distinctly unimpressed. An image from the popular Funeral Selfie website

The selfie was already named the word of the year by Oxford Dictionary and the good folks over at Teen Vogue investigated the effect the phenomenon has on teenage girls' self-esteem.

Pamela Rutledge of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology explained "The cult of the selfie celebrates regular people. There are many more photographs available now of real people than models."

"It's a healthy way for teenagers to develop their identity."

She warns of the predisposition for 'addiction' of online approval. But the online you isn't the real you. It's a carefully crafted version of yourself.

So, let's get back to real life. Start loving the real us and stop seeking approval from a stranger who you've never met. When you put it that way, it's quite creepy isn't it?

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