Student Life: Selfie Central – Visual Communication in the Digital Age

Smile, take a picture of yourself…and post it on the Internet! This is the standard procedure for any avid social media user today. The selfie has become a cultural form of self-expression, rendering itself important enough to land its own dictionary definition. On one hand, it is a positive testament to how far technology has come. What once took a darkroom and film to create can now be taken by anybody with a click of a button. Yet despite its convenience and accessibility, the selfie also has a hidden dark side.


Is the selfie the embodiment of a narcissistic society? Are the duck faces we direct towards our smartphone cameras just poses that we make to cover up our insecurities? Are we all just self-obsessed, fascinated by a reflection that can be captured and put online? In an age of digital sharing, posting a pretty picture of yourself looking your best sure feels good. The 100 or so likes that a profile picture gets sure helps one’s self esteem as well. Selfies are essentially the modern day “Magic Mirror” from the Snow White fairy tale, with several Facebook friends assuring us that we are “the fairest of them all” with statements such as “you’re so pretty!” or “gorgeous!”testament to how far technology has come. What once took a darkroom and film to create can now be taken by anybody with a click of a button. Yet despite its convenience and accessibility, the selfie also has a hidden dark side.

Instagram, a social media site completely centered around pictures, has also become selfie central. We all post pictures to communicate something about our lives-perhaps to make people percreive that they are better or more exciting than they actually are. Selfies are our way of asking people to look at the beauty that we have. We also use filters in order to disguise our worst features or to give our photos a classier, vintage feel.

Selfies have ultimately become a way to convey something about ourselves. So whether blow a kiss at the camera or smile, self-expression in today’s digital world has become a part of everyday life. Join the narcissistic yet silly dark side.

-Bernice Puzon, Student Life Contributor

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