Saturday, 22 March 2014

Out of my Reach

Selfie. Last year's word of the year, as picked by Oxford dictionary. Because we are so obsessed with taking pictures of ourselves for the world to see, filtered, and posted online for likes, comments, and the praise we so desperately crave

There's even an anthem for our narcissism.

And there is an app called Facefeed, also centred around the selfie. Users snap photos of themselves and can chat with other users whom they find visually appealing. Be careful not to use if you have a fragile ego and subpar appearance--Because you will also be ranked according to popularity. So remember, good lighting, tilt your chin up slightly, smile, hold the camera above you, blah blah blah.

But a selfie is so incomplete. There's so much missing from an arm's length away. Beside the fact that it is impossible to get the whole picture, literally, there are things we miss after that extra coat of lip gloss, loose hairs pinned back, teeth checked for remnants of the latest fad diet.

We can get so wrapped up in what image is being seen by our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Tumblr and other followers and completely forget about the other picture. They might know what our faces look like (only with makeup/filters/in good lighting/with a smile) but would the people who know us online even know a thing about us by the things we do? Could we dare to be known for our deeds and not our appearance?

President Obama takes a selfie with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British PM David Cameron at Nelson Mandela's funeral

Could we be something for the history books and not the best-dressed in the yearbooks? Because the next generation won't give a hoot. . . They'll learn instead how many people were exploited to make the cell phones with the fancy cameras for your bathroom photoshoots--and that you did nothing. Unless of course, you change that. Leave a mark on this world that is something beyond a web page devoted to yourself. Leave something that can't--and won't be deleted with one click. Leave one for the history books. Enrich your life with something bigger than yourself, dream bigger goals than gaining the admiration of the internet, and let the pictures of you be the ones taken from beyond your reach. Whether they're photographs or not. Let your story be written by the people whose lives you change.

Selfies aren't evil. It's ok to take them. At least I think so. In my humble opinion, I the lowly blogger say go for it. But don't be consumed. Don't give a shit if you don't get enough likes or plusses or comments. Don't spend so much time in the bathroom snapping photos that your family starts wondering if you are having medical problems.

Smile, not just for the camera, but for the strangers on the street. Tilt your chin up, but also walk with your head held high because you know that you are living your life to the fullest. Stand in the light, let it shine in your eyes, and be light to other people who are having a dark day. 

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