Ahhhhhh, the Selfie Stick! Just when you thought society had reached a pinnacle of narcissism that could not possibly be exceeded, a new invention comes along that proves us all wrong.
For those of you unaware of this new, all-the-rage gadget, a selfie stick is a stick-type collapsible accessory that securely holds your smart phone an appropriate distance away to take the perfect self pic. With bluetooth remote technology, it allows an easy snap, snap, snap to take self photo after photo. The resulting pictures are improved selfies, minus the awkward positioning. Friends will think there was another person taking the photo -- no one needs to know your imaginary friend is really a stick!
Selfies have taken the social media world by storm. In fact the word "selfie" was declared the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year for 2013. Why are so many obsessed with taking and posting countless selfies on every social media platform? Do they honestly think others are that interested? Are they trying to prove how fabulous their life really is? Are they terrified of becoming irrelevant and (gasp!) forgotten without regular photo postings? Or are they so narcissistic that they truly believe that everyone wants to see what they're doing via pictures at every possible moment?
It's not just attention-seeking teenagers that are taking all these selfies, though they certainly lead the pack. Parents, athletes, astronauts, President Obama, Pope Francis, Kim Kardashian (she had so many selfies she turned hers into a book!) and of course multiple other celebrities. Everyone has jumped on the selfie bandwagon. For a fee there are even businesses that provide professional selfies to post when you need them, thus raising the narcissistic bar ever higher. Some folks think it's fun, like Ellen Degeneres at the Oscars, breaking Twitter in the process as her selfie was retweeted over 3.2 million times, thus becoming perhaps the world's first super-tweet.
Ellen wrote about her infamous tweet, "If only Bradley's arm was longer." I'm sure there are millions (if not billions) of people saying the same thing when photographing themselves. Alas, evolution takes too long for that, if only Bradley had a Selfie Stick -- problem solved!
A picture paints a thousand words, but the Selfie Stick is a ridiculous contraption for those who think nothing in life is real unless it's forever recorded in a digital foremat. Even better (or worse), the Selfie Stick has been named by Time magazine as one of the best inventions of the year, right up there with wireless electricity, a new ‘smart’ spaceship and a filter that treates ebola. I wonder which of those will have the greatest effect on humanity?
I'm not saying whoever takes a selfie is narcissist. Wait... maybe I am. If you ever consider purchasing a selfie stick, you might want to re-evaluate your priorities. If you must take 20 photos before you get the one you want and the close angle from a hand held selfie just does not look right, then you might want to see a therapist and discuss self esteem. If you keep refreshing your phone or tablet to see how many likes or re-tweets your recent selfie is getting and don’t feel satisfied until it reaches 1000, then you might have a problem. We get it -- you're awesome. You don't have to keep reminding us.
Here’s an FYI: The world is not all about you. You are not the greatest or the prettiest or the coolest or the best connected. Past generations have been nicknamed for what was going on at the time -- the GI generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. Welcome to the selfie generation. Who has time to accomplish anything of importance when taking self pics all day long is such a priority? I suspect today's teen will have over a billion photos on which to reminisce by the time they turn 50. Since no one wants to look at the selfie of a 50 year old, you can spend the rest of your life looking at pictures of yourself when you were young and oh so cool.
It looks like the selfie is here to stay, a true game changer regarding social interaction, self-awareness, behavior and body language. Since it’s inevitable, here are some tips on how to take the perfect selfie:
• Make sure to pout your lips, enhance your cleavage, suck in your gut and act like you have no idea a picture is being taken.
• Some photos make you look desperate and insecure (yes, you probably are), so be careful what you post. They will be out there forever and ever.
• Take multiple photos in the same pose to make certain you get that perfect pic.
• Make sure to include plenty of strangers in your selfie so it looks like you have lots of friends.
• Photoshop every pic. Remember, it's not just for Vogue models anymore.
• If you don’t travel to exotic locals or happen to be in the same bar with a celebrity, fake it by superimposing your pic on a cool backround or next to your favorite singer.
Finally, remember practice makes perfect! If you're not taking 100 pics a day, you’re just not trying hard enough. You'll never outshine Queen Selfie, Kim Kardashian, and become a household name if you're stuck inside reading articles like this. There's no time like now. Fork over your $20+ and make sure the stick is with you, always.