What Do Selfies Really Say?

In my Digital Media class this semester, we have just recently had a chapter on Selfies. I find it very intriguing to look at selfies in an academic or intellectual way. Here are a few selfies that I’m examining in the way the chapter on selfies talks about them, to try and contextualize what a selfie really says about me.

I must confess that, while I take loads of pictures to post online, I’m not a big selfie person. Most of my ‘selfies’ are ‘us-fies’ where I take selfies with people. I prefer photos of things, not myself. Not necessarily because I don’t like myself, it’s just that I know the people who follow me know what I look like, what I want to show you is everything else.

Selfie #1: The Stricken Sports Fan

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August 12, 2016

The only sport I really follow is women’s soccer. I love soccer, and I watch men’s soccer, but women’s soccer in America is where it’s at. This was the selfie I took after the US Women’s National Team lost in the quarter finals at the Rio Olympics. I took this photo and posted it because I tend to take selfies when something emotional is going on (something shocking on TV happens, I post an OMG selfie, ect) and I was sitting on my floor staring at the ceiling in shock. The #1 ranked team in the world would leave the Olympics without a medal at all for the first time since Women’s Soccer started to be an Olympic sport. I honestly don’t know why I take ‘reaction’ selfies. I don’t know anybody else that does this, but I like it. This selfie, like most of my selfies, doesn’t ‘stand up to time’. I don’t take aesthetic selfie soften, so this was like a tweet. It was for that moment in time, and later it doesn’t really matter much.

Selfie #2: Voting Day Selfie

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May 24, 2016

This selfie I took, as I do every voting day, after casting my ballot in the presidential primaries. Political involvement is important to me, so all 5 times I’ve been to the polls in my life, I have posted a selfie of it with a caption about “Don’t forget to do your civic duty!” or something similar. I feel like, in the academic and intellectual sense, this selfie does represent something that is very ‘me’. It’s a selfie, but it’s less about my face and more about relating being a voter to myself. I wanted people to see that I’m actively involved in the politics of this country and I wanted to inspire others to get out and vote instead of not bother. It’s not even a very flattering photo, but it was a profile pic for a while because of the meaning behind it.

Selfie #3: Spontaneous Museum Adventure Selfie

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April 2, 2016

When we talk about motivation for selfies, people often cite preserving a memory as the motivation, and in this case, that’s exactly what happened. This was the day I realized First Saturdays at the Macon arts and science museum were free admission, and I love museums, so me and my siblings all decided to go together. The best part of any museum is the planetarium, so in this moment, we were all very excited. The show was starting soon, and we took a selfie of us in our seats and excited so I could post online and show all my friends what a fun thing my siblings and I were doing that day. I had forgotten about that day until this assignment, but when I looked at this selfie, I was reminded of how much fun we had that day learning about the potential for dark matter in outer space.

Selfie #4: The Nerd Side

February 13, 2016

Another type of selfie is the one where you show off a new thing you have, and that’s exactly what this one was. I had just bought this awesome Kylo Ren Star Wars mug! Since my friends and various other online followers are inevitably on the nerdy side, it was a way to show people “Look at this cool thing I have!” and how better than to take a selfie of me using my cool new thing? This is sort of like how people will take photos posing with their new car, only on a much smaller level. Again, it’s less about me and more about the fact that I now have a cool thing and everybody should be jealous. (Fun fact, I’m currently using that same mug as I write this.)

Selfie #5: Pet Selfies

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March 22, 2016

Anybody with a pet takes pet selfies. I would say that MOST of my photos, not just selfies, but photos in general, are of my cat. This is my baby boy, Tigger, who you already met in the first post on this blog. He’s 6 years old this year, and he is my precious little baby kitten and about the only person who loves him more than me is my daddy. This is the most stereotypical selfie I think I have, honestly. Artful composition (for a selfie), a heavy Instagram filter, the aesthetic posing of kissing the cat while taking a selfie so it doesn’t look so ‘selfie’ like, all of these are very ‘typical selfie’ things. This is one of my favorites, simply because I look alright and my cat looks great and who doesn’t want to show off their cat? (Except you heathen dog people *hisses* lol) This is one of those photos that, like the others, represents me through something I love.

In one way or another, you could say that my entire selfie style is showing things I love in some form or fashion. Selfie #1 was for the purpose of starting a conversation about my favorite sport. Selfie #2 was about energizing the voting base and getting people to remember that it was voting day even though all that we voted for was the primaries that day. Selfie #3 was like a vacation selfie, only we’re poor, so we don’t go on vacations (we spent ONE night away this last fall and it was the only family vacation we’ve ever gone on), in that we went to a fun new place on an adventure and wanted to document that day because I love the planetarium so much. Selfie #4 expresses my love for coffee and nerdy things, which are my two favorite things in the entire world. Selfie #5 was about showing off my cat, which is the closest to having a child I’ll ever get since I hate children and love cats.

Everyone has a different selfie style, and going into this, I didn’t even realize what mine was. But now I know! My selfie style is showing others what I love.

So, now that you’ve seen mine, join in and use a post with 5 selfies chosen at random to analyze YOUR selfie style!

Author: J. Chelsea Williford

Student at Middle Georgia State University, writer, pop culture lover.

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