In a selfie-obsessed world

Click. Share. Like. Feel great. Click again. Share again. Like again. Feel great again. Have you counted how many times you felt great in a day? Whether it’s because your picture got 80 `likes’ on Facebook or the perfect filter on Instagram made your skin tone shine just right, and your rouge lips stand out ­ social media finds a way to boost your ego on a daily basis. In fact, make it an hourly basis.WE ARE OUR OWN PAPARAZZI

All you have to do to get yourself out of a bad mood is to take a selfie and post it. Voila! You feel good again. You may have innumerable followers on your social media accounts, but your biggest follower is yourself. No one follows you as closely as you follow yourself. For others, to click takes a second, and they can move on. But your own self spends considerable time making yourself look and sound good, and then feel great about yourself.


Whatever your real problems are, as the number of likes go up, your 3D version starts taking hold of you. As long as someone else, a close friend, an acquaintance or a stranger, appreciates you, your picture, you feel on the top of the world. Your selfworth is decided by affirmation, at times, of complete strangers. Validation is the only form of boost you need to feel confident.

According to a report, more than 17 million selfies are uploaded to social media sites every week. Ashmeet Nair, 14, who clicks 100 selfies of herself every day is one of them. Her mother is baffled by her obsession. But for Ashmeet it’s only natural to do so. “I think I have a relationship with my phone, and when my selfies get appreciated I feel good. My cofidence is boosted,“ says the school girl who takes a `goodnight selfie’ every night and even has an app installed in her phone to rate her looks.Selfie


Internet expert Chetan Deshpande feels selfie is not just an obsession but a huge economy today ­ which is only adding to the craze that’s already out of control. “TV ads are promoting selfies, Bollywood is adding selfie songs, mobile companies are referring to their selfie cameras as one of their biggest USPs. You just can’t escape a selfie living in today’s world.“

Beauty Vlogger with YouTube Jovita George says, “Selfie economy has already created a new lifestyle pattern. We document everything ­ what we eat, where we are, how we are feeling, on a daily basis. You’ll realise you have more selfies to boast of than conversations to remember even with your closest friends. You probably won’t recall a moment of peace or silence when you soaked in the beauty of a place while travelling or seeing some new place ­ you were too busy documenting it.“


We are all contestants of our own reality show.And we are all winners. Author Kim Stolz, a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model and a writer, recently said, “We are in a big worldwide digital reality television show. We are all contestants competing for who has the best friends, the best Saturday nights, the best relationships, the best trips, and the best puppies.“ Our inflated sense of self rules us 24×7.


As an experiment for this story, yours truly started clicking selfies. I was taking car selfies, grass seflies, holiday selfies, kitchen selfies, bathroom selfies, group selfies… the obsession got hold of me. I was not in control of my actions.My selfie obsession was controlling me. I began shopping for clothes that would make my selfie look good, started eating at places where the ambience was nice and the food worth clicking. I googled `How to Click that Perfect Selfie’, which told me how to look into the camera, how I should style my hair, and what filters to use for food, people, places etc. I eventually became acquainted with terms I had never heard of ­ Sparrow Face (opening your eyes wide and parting your lips slightly, like a baby bird waiting to be fed), Pigeon Toe (your feet point inwards to make your legs look lean and your feet look small), Teapot Arm (angle trickery to make your biceps look thin).

My filtered, 3D version has gotten the better of the real me. It’s not that easy to let her go.

Source: TOI 15 Nov’2015