I have to get this off my chest. It’s been confusing me for far too long.
Where in the world did the term “selfie” originate from and who is responsible for turning it into world-wide epidemic? Maybe it’s been going on for years now; but just in the last several months my Facebook and Instagram feeds seem to be infested with “selfies.” Who decided that it was okay to take multiple pictures of yourself, and post them to the world-wide web as long as it has “selfie” as a label? Does using the term “selfie” somehow make it seem less….selfie?
I’m getting off track here. This post is not meant to bash on all the “selfie” pictures out there, nor is it meant to state whether such selfie pictures are right or wrong. I’m sure there are some legitimate reasons to post a selfie. I don’t want anyone to feel they need to defend themself. I simply want to PLEAD for LESS of them!
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I was curious so I did a simple search on Instagram to see how many pictures had the hashtag #selfie. Guess how many?
Just under 57 MILLION! That my friends, is INSANE.
I was shocked, so I did a little more researching. Next, I searched under #family. Guess how many? 42 Million. Still almost 15 Million less than #selfie.
So next I searched #sisters. I figured there’s got to be quite a girls out there taking pictures with there sis. Nope. Only 9 Million. That’s almost 50 million less than pictures of people taking pictures of themself.
So next I tried a term that’s been around FOREVER: #bff. “There are tons of best friends out there,” I thought. Nope, only 12 million. People are taking 45 million more pictures of themselves than they are with their B.F.Fs.
I also searched for any hashtag with the term “married” “weddingday” “baby” and “blessed.” Nothing came close to my search results for #selfie.
In desperation I tried #Christmas. There are tons of Christmas-lovers out there, right? People taking pictures of their very first Christmas as husband and wife, or of their kids sitting on Santa’s lap, or even decorating the Christmas tree. Nope, only 24,000.
Still not even HALF the amount of pictures than the ones titled “selfies.”
I did find ONE hashtag that came in higher than selfie. It was #beautiful. But guess what? One of the first 6 pictures was ALSO a selfie! That’s good to know, at least those who are taking pictures of themselves also consider themselves as beautiful.
Is anyone else disturbed by this trend? I get it, we are the smartphone generation…I myself am guilty of taking like a million pictures of my kids. We have cameras with us at all moments. For a generation that is blessed with so many picture-taking capabilities, why aren’t there more pictures of the truly beautiful moments in life? Random acts of kindness. Marriage. Family. Nature. Holidays and celebrations. THINGS WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR?
Sometimes I think about what it might be like when we are all dead and mingling with each other on the other side. How cool it will be to talk to our heroes from other generations. I imagine myself wanting to hear stories of those who lived through the great depression, world wars and various hard and challenging times. I want to know stories of those who walked barefoot in snow, traveled oceans, or sacrificed everything they had for religious freedom. I will want to talk with the brave men who founded our very country and wrote our constitution.
But I really hope they don’t look at us and say, “Oh. Aren’t you from the ‘selfie generation’? You are the ‘entitled ones’ who sat around taking pictures of yourself while selfishness and greed took over and ruined the country and government that we worked so hard (and sacrificed so much) to build.”
Please don’t feel bad about “selfies” that you have taken in the past. You might have been justified in taking them, or maybe you just didn’t know better. But please stop taking them. And please inspire your teens to stop taking them. I love seeing pictures of your family. I love seeing what you came up with for your Halloween costume this year, and sometimes I even have interest in that beautiful dish that you created for dinner.
But I have never been inspired by a “selfie.”
And in the scary world that we live in, we need to start inspiring each other! We need more kindness, more love, and more beauty. We need to pay it forward, work hard, and love those around us. We need less selfishness.
Please join me in a new movement: #unselfyourself. Let’s put those smartphones to use and start taking pictures with other people. People that we love. People that inspire us. Take pictures of traditions and holidays and celebrations. Let’s look back on our pictures and see memories.
Hashtag them whatever you want, but let’s put an end to the “selfie.”