Pictures are extremely powerful. A picture worth a thousand words, so people say. The pictures from television, the internet, DVDs and Youtube always batter our conscious mind in our homes, office, bedroom, or in the cinema. To tell the truth, pictures is not easy to wipe out or to forget. It is not neutral but has values own its own. “I love to take pictures,” said my friend recently, “especially pictures of myself.” “Yes, you do,” I replied quickly, “You’re king of selfie! Hail the king!”
Welcome to the selfie phenomenon. I’m using Mircosoft Office Word 2003 (very old version, right?) to write this short article and it is not a surprise to find out that the word “selfie” is not in the auto-dictionary, so I have to add it. Online Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary also doesn’t have the word “selfie” (as per date) but Online Oxford Dictionary is more updated. It is defines as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” You know what does it mean, right? You seen it somewhere or probably, you did it yourself and uploaded it daily. Selfie is the latest phenomenon and I predict that it will be part of the world culture in years to come. (For your info: There is even a Selfie City (selfiecity.net/) and Selfie Police (selfiepolice.org/) in the internet! Wow!).
There are many great articles on selfie phenomenon. Read some of it. But here I would like to share my thoughts about it. I like to ask myself, ‘Why people do selfie?’ First, simply because it is the most fun thing to do – casual, normal, no harm. Secondly, I think selfie, especially when one intentionally takes one look-cute photos, is for the purpose of getting positive comments or likes about one appearance. Not just physical appearance – no – but also to show off new outfit or face make-up or hairstyle or that one is at a cool event. Thirdly, selfie is the easiest way to boost one confidence due to lake of self-esteem and high of boredom. This is hard sayings, this is the truth. And finally, but not least, selfie is an effective way to create desired image of oneself. It might be a false image but it doesn’t matter because the image is who one wants people to see not who ones are. Thus, most selfie pictures are edited first before one posts it online. Ugly becomes pretty, pretty become prettier, prettier become ugly!
To want to look-cute, to gain confident and to seek attention is totally human. Most psychologists will say that it is normal with warnings. Due to the rise of social networks, things will be out of control. Selfie becomes an addiction and there is a tendency to go into overdrive (taking four to six pictures in the same positions with different face-expressions compiled in one photo is overdrive – overkill!). Psychologists also noted that those who repeatedly, daily post selfie struggle with self-esteem. It can become a self-destructive form of narcissism that potentially leading to harm. An unhealthy obsession, the experts added, could be a warning sign for some type of mental disorder. Beware.
As Christian, I identify this excessive obsession with selfie as an indication or the outward expression of the inward spiritual loneliness. A sign of emptiness – the God-size vacuum – that only Christ can fill it. The solution is not to read the entire Bible or memorize it or pray every morning daily or going to church every week. These are important but not the first thing in God’s mind. God want us first and foremost to know Him personally, to engage the living Christ and to walk in (and with) the Holy Spirit. Everything else is the means and effects of (continuous) knowing God of the Scripture. When you find yourself addicted to selfie, check your spirituality.
As for closing, I would like to quote at length what Melissa Walker writes in Teen Vogue magazine (August 2013 Issue). A practical and wise advice to selfie lovers: “Overall, opinions vary on whether selfie culture is lame or legit, which means it's up to you to shape the future of the habit. Ask yourself: Are my selfies for fun, or do I need the comments? If you fall under category two, [Psychologist] recommends shifting your perspective. That could mean cutting selfies out entirely or just scaling back and making them more fun. Bottom line? Everything you share on social media reveals something about you, and you are in control. So maybe you like to travel, or read, or dance, or create crazy 3-D nail art ... post that! Take it from us: It's so much more interesting”
Don’t stop selfie, don’t overdo it either
Control it before it controls you.
Remember, if Christ is in you and you’re in Him, know that God loves you. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.