See Me! See Me! – The Selfie Syndrome
This is perhaps the most popular word that any tech nerd or a tech freak teen would find familiar with than anything else. The term ‘selfie’ seems to have been discussed by a photographer back in 2005 ( another story say it to have originated from Australia in 2002) and with the advent of cell phone cameras and the recent technical improvements made with it this is now a trending terminology widely used. In fact the first ever known photograph is itself a selfie, an interesting fact to know.
The first ever photograph take n by the American photographer Robert Cornelius who is said to have pioneered the photo development techniques recorded an image of himself in his camera. The year was 1839, then. As his camera was very slow and the process of recording the image was lengthier it gave him ample time to set up the camera and to come into the field of focus to be snapped. This image that you see below is taken with courtesy from Wikipedia.
Later Robert photographed his sister and them with the Robert’s selfie are the earliest surviving photographs to date. My intention here is not to delve into the historical background of the art of photography but on the psychological reason(s) behind this new found craze.
Every human being seeks attention from others. Seeking attention is one of the basic psychological traits of humans. It stems from the need for recognition from everyone. A photograph is not just freezing the moment to back it up for personal memories but majorly to express ourselves to others, taken during our better moments.
A selfie defined as a self-taken photograph, where a person takes a photograph of him/herself. The social networking media are literally brimming with this kind of photographs. The narcissistic tendency that remained latent has come out barking with selfies. The majority of us click selfies not to see but to exhibit. That seems the whole purpose of it. The attention seeking mentality of the human kind has taken a tech twist in the digital era.
The modern life has made an insatiable craving in every human to become popular. They all see and admire the popular figures, mainly personalities from filmdom. It’s natural that everyone wishes to enjoy popularity. This urge has made the modern youth to crave for likes and comments in social networking sites like facebook. Their rational mind wouldn’t have stopped revealing them of the worthlessness of these all. Despite the fact that they are very well aware of the flirting comments and fake praises their selfies garner, they wish to enjoy it.
The peer pressure and the compulsion to sustain the meaningless competition that they have set keeps the teens and the youths in their twenties to dump their pictures in photo sharing websites like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and the like. Even the leading public figures have not been shared from this selfie craze, yet their acts couldn’t be rubbished as waste of time like with the rest. It is indeed a popular publicity stunt that’s trending now (the ice bucket challenge is the latest addition in this regard) that will undoubtedly help them gain momentum.
Many value themselves by the recognition that others give them and self recognition seems to have thinned. The selfie syndrome has revealed us one thing more clearly that the rest. It’s time we pay attention to grooming the self recognition and self respect among the younger generation.