The Selfie

Selfies.  People love taking them.  It’s like capturing something ephemeral, like a giggle, since selfies are most often taken when people are enjoying themselves.  I personally don’t understand the fascination, but I will admit that pictures with people are usually more interesting.  However when a close-up of somebody’s mug is taking up all the image real estate, the picture becomes less interesting for me.

I’m not a fan of taking selfies, which could be attributed to my short arms.  My few selfie attempts end up looking like my reflection in the back of a spoon.  Also selfie sounds a little bit too close to “selfish” for my comfort.

Ironically, people take selfies to capture the moment they’re in without realizing that simple action actually takes them out of the moment.  In an article titled “The Documented Life”, Shelly Turkle, a professor at MIT who studies technology and human relations writes, “A selfie, like any photograph, interrupts experience to mark the moment.”  So what is it we’re trying to capture with a selfie?

Recently I discovered two new apps catering to selfie lovers.  One app is Shots of Me and serves as an integrated platform exclusively for sharing selfies.  Follow, post, like and comment all in one place for all your selfies.

In August a new app, Selfie Analyzer, was released that analyzes selfies based on some sort of criteria and scores the results.  Allegedly based on “science”. My friend downloaded it for us to try.

I received a “C-” on this one, so no trophies.  I felt secretly relieved my spirit animal wasn’t a possum or a muskrat…

My spirit animal according to Selfie Analyzer.

My spirit animal according to Selfie Analyzer.

Just for fun, we analyzed a picture of my friend’s ex-boyfriend.

Selfie Analyzed of my friend's ex-boyfriend.

Selfie Analyzed of my friend’s ex-boyfriend.

Who knew the spirit animal could be inanimate?  Must be based on more of that “science”.

Spirit "animal" of my friend's ex-boyfriend.

Spirit “animal” of my friend’s ex-boyfriend.

And my friend’s spirit animal.

Friend's spirit animal.  Adequately captured her luscious, flowing locks.

Friend’s spirit animal. Adequately captured her luscious, flowing locks.

One does have to wonder why a company would work so hard to make a game out of analyzing selfies and offer it for free.  Where is this leading?  To more targeted advertising, naturally.  Many companies are tapping into the selfie craze.  Recently Kraft Macaroni and Cheese hired a company called Ditto Labs to analyze publicly available selfies for brand recognition.  Ditto Labs has a program that can recognize and analyze brands that appear in photos, including those represented in selfies, which gives retailers new ways to target consumers.

If you like taking selfies, watch where you point that camera!

4 comments for “The Selfie

  1. Irene Gelyk
    9 September 2014 at 08:21

    Thank you for the laughs. I’m not of fan of the “selfie” either — though understandable since I don’t like 99% of photos of myself.

  2. Donald
    9 September 2014 at 08:40

    Great post!

  3. Anonymous
    9 September 2014 at 08:48

    Very nitrating and thank you for the update on selfies – agree it will be used as a marketing tool.

  4. katerinastefanidis@hotmail.com
    9 September 2014 at 12:37

    Love it !!!!! bags of garbage truly capture the “spirit ” of some people 😛
    ps I bet your friend is a wonderful sweet person with great hair hehehehehe

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