What a relevent reading this week! I myself am on several social media platforms, but I have a love hate relationship with them. I mainly use facebook as a tool to stay in contact with my various greek and charity organizations. If I didn’t have to stay in correspondence with them I probably would have deleted mine a while ago. Not that I don’t have fun with it. I enjoy browsing my feed and seeing my friends. But I hardly ever post photos. At least, certainly not on the constant, repetitive basis everyone else tends to. I mainly just use facebook to post funny statuses, I basically test jokes on my friends. I don’t really post statuses or pictures unless I feel like it’s actually interesting, whereas I think a lot of other people will post any and everything without thinking.
It was funny that the Mendelson study called some of these practices narcissistic because that’s how I sometimes describe it. I think in particular posting dozens of selfies is a habit that hints at narcissistic tendencies. I mean, a large volume photos with no actual content or point other than showing what you look like, which hardly ever changes, is so strange to me. As pointed out in the reading, I see people post a lot of pictures with different backdrops, but in the same exact pose, every single time. As if they’ve just been moving around a statue or cardboard cutout of themselves and taking pictures of it. I personally find it boring, inauthentic and disingenuous. I think it’s more interesting and relevent to switch it up and have fun. But of course the statue like pose has a purpose, mainly because it’s pose that the person chooses because they think it makes them look the most flattering and attractive. And striking that pose can be very important to some kids. Which is why I don’t understand the duckface phenomenon.
It’s interesting that the researchers theorized that people’s constant posting of photos was used to differentiate people from their family’s assert their independence. I had never thought about it like that, but I suppose it is true. And I especially agree with their thought that people use pictures to document and prove that they’re having the time of their lives at college. The question is, is it used more to prove this to other people or themselves? I think that the college experience can be tough and stressful sometimes. But I am glad have the pictures I do, because when times are tough it feels really good to look back at the crazy, varied things I’ve done and remember that overall it really has been a lot of fun. And I’m glad I can use photos to remember them and more easily think back on those times. So I guess the facebook photo phenomenon isn’t a purely empty, narcissistic practice. Much like Social determinism describes, facebook hasn’t made people more narcissistic, it just depends on what people choose to use it for.
One thing that I’m loving about selfies is a meme that started this year called the “Selfie Olympics”. Which is a sort of competition on the internet where people try to take the most absurd selfie of themselves possible. It’s pretty funny and like most things on the internet, escalated quickly. Check it out. #selfieolympics