One would think that something as organic as taking a picture could have never possibly been able to reinvent it’s form or style. But this entire assumption turned out to be the most meaningless argument to make, as soon as the Selfie mania began to become a part of our every day lives. Actually no, I got that wrong.. It became a part of our every second of every thing that we do. Be it the bite that you take off your plate, whilst waiting for your bus/train/driver to come and pick you up, whilst eagerly waiting for your meeting to start before a job interview, or simply every time you spot a celebrity just so you can cherish that Selfie as a memory for days and years to come.
Let’s not deny it, at some point we’ve all wanted to take out our phones from the pocket, just out of sheer boredom of not being pre-occupied, just to take that selfie and post it on all social media platforms. But interestingly, with Social Media becoming almost every interactive user’s best friend nowadays, a Selfie has not only used its trending powers to become the ‘cool’ thing to do, but a rather effective marketing tool to promote the cause of most Film, Sporting, Political and Social events. I’m not saying that the traditional billboards are being forgotten (they never will), but taking a Selfie has proved to be a tremendous time saver and a fantastic way for celebrities and famous people to reach out to their fans and the common man in the most casual way as possible. In a way, a Selfie has equalized the status of mankind within the last 4-5 years, which is to say ” You might be Robert Downey Jr. or Shah Rukh Khan, but despite their busy schedule, they still have enough time in a day to take a Selfie just like the rest of the world does.”
Interestingly, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken to the habit of clicking selfies wherever he goes. On his recent trip to China, he made sure to click a selfie with the leader of China and other heads of states. Weeks after he became India’s PM, he happily obliged taking selfies with Bollywood celebrities, which straight away established a certain friendly and approachable vibe in his demeanor, personally.
Selfies were seen as a common feature during the recent IPL (Indian Premier League), where one of the many contests would be, to win a chance to take a selfie with the players participating in a particular game. That in turn, threw light on the changing ways that something as quirky, light hearted and fun as facing a camera, which one now formally defines as a ‘Selfie’, has not only become “one of those things”, but an expressive way to let the world know about your ongoing activities and progress.
That being said, the reason why I thought taking some time to shower my two cents over this Selfie phenomena would make an interesting introspection, is because I’m a fan of it myself. Yes, I take them frequently if you happen to stumble over my Instagram page. But for me, the manner in which marketing and advertising firms swear by the Selfie formula creatively, as a way to exhibit or promote a product or a social cause, has been an area of deep intrigue and curiosity, personally.
Ofcourse, making use of those 10,000 effects & filters installed for those that doubt their looks, end up looking decent or for some ‘a star in their minds’ once the Selfie is posted for the universe to see.
But all of this makes me wonder if weather, just like wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts or using Walkmans for music, is the culture of Selfies a phase that we’re going through? Or does it have the life, excitement and sentiment to outlast our fancy, just like writing letters to a friend still does? Time will tell. But for now, let’s click a Selfie.