A few days ago I was flipping through some television channels, and I landed on a commercial that was about teaching people how to take selfies. Or, at least that's what was going on in the ad. I honestly have no idea what the commercial was for, but it had a bunch of people in it taking pictures of themselves with a wide range of devices, including one-handing a tablet to get that perfect frame of their face.
The "selfie" has become quite the rage recently, from jokes to people taking it way too seriously. We've honestly been doing it for as long as people have had the ability to do so, but that's just not the way a "fad" works. It has to garner a bunch of attention, become a pop culture phenomenon, and then ultimately we'll forget about it completely at some point down the road.
Now it looks like we have to add another layer to necessary events, as smartphone manufacturers need to jump into the mix these days, too. It makes sense for our smartphones to get the brunt of attention when it comes to selfies, though, considering they're part of the problem. And our favorite OEMs are making it even easier to put these phones front-and-center in the jokes we tell.
The perfect selfie smartphone. The selfie phone. These are descriptors that manufacturers are using for phones now. This is going to be included in the marketing speak, eventually. And, in some cases, it may even be the way they sell the phone entirely. We've become obsessed with selfies, and this is the result.
So it makes it all that much harder when you realize you do it, too.
First, let's be perfectly clear about something: the front-facing camera in our smartphone was always going to get better. That was inevitable. It's a piece of technology, and one that many companies can (and do) use on their specifications bullet list to make their device stand out against the competition. We've watched them go from VGA cameras to 5-megapixel shooters, and they're going to continue to improve. That was never not going to happen.
The focus on the "perfect selfie phone," though, comes from the society that's making them so popular. They may be the brunt of a joke more often than not, but that doesn't make them any less prominent in our communities. I realized that I was laughing at the aforementioned advertisement, while at the same time admitting to myself that I do it, too. No, I don't do it as much as some people I know, who probably take more selfies in a day's time than I have ever, or will ever take, but I still do it.
In fact, the profile picture you can see at the top of this article is, technically, a selfie. I took it because my daughters had fallen asleep in their seats while we were out driving, and apparently I felt like my eyeball should be in the picture, too. And the girls love taking pictures with me, so we oftentimes take selfies, with their favorites being the ones where they can make funny faces.
I don't take selfies for myself, thankfully. At least, not yet. Maybe I'll succumb to peer pressure eventually. After all, the camera on my phone is already the most important feature to me. Then again, it was hard enough to realize that I already take selfies. Maybe that'll keep me on the outskirts of the phenomenon. One can hope.
Do you know someone who suffers from taking too many selfies? Do you take too many selfies?