So today, I thought that I would discuss this…phenomenon exploding all over the Internet, as well as into our lives. I’m talking about social media. More specifically, I am talking about two platforms– Snapchat and Instagram– that are truly taking over our day-to-day lives in this millennium. And for no important reason- except offering plenty of teens and twenty-somethings an excuse to take and create narcissistic avatars of themselves for the world to see.
Okay, so maybe I’m not being totally fair with Snapchat or Instagram. Granted, if used judiciously, they can reflect positive emotions, boost self-confidence, and even serve as a creative way to communicate with friends and family. For celebrities and those who strive to break into the entertainment industry, these social media platforms are excellent tools to get discovered; you can say that they are almost indispensable.
BUT it gets really irritating really soon, especially when users start to abuse these applications. Like, really?? Another “funny face” selfie to your BFF? Your tenth shirtless, post-gym workout photo? Your twenty-eighth beach sunset pic for the month? When does it ever stop?! 😦
I feel like the more photos you take and upload to the Internet, the more they reflect your insecurity, your low self-confidence. Those “likes” and “comments” have become, in a sense, tokens for one’s happiness; it’s as if you can never feel truly proud of your photos until someone has liked or commented on it, writing things like “So pretty!” or “Damn, girl…” It’s sad- it’s really sad.
Narcissism has been around for as long as the story of Echo and Narcissus came into existence, but it wasn’t until the founding of these social media platforms that self-absorption was taken into a whole new level. And by this, I mean a thousand levels: photo after photo, selfie after selfie, and the cycle goes on and on. In addition, this new invention, the “selfie stick,” reaffirms the ridiculousness of our obsession for capturing every single moment on camera, ultimately to be shared to the world. (I’ve actually seen these “selfie sticks” on my recent trip to the Caribbeans; tourists left and right were holding these things, looking utterly absurd as they angled the camera on top of the five-story balcony overlooking the pristine, azure ocean. Meh.)
Another thing that gets under my skin is the degree of in-authenticity behind these selfies. What do I mean by this? Two things: 1) the amount of editing and retouching done in order to reflect the best side of you, whether it is increasing the lighting, removing blemishes, or even slimming down the contours of your cheekbones. While a touch here and there is fine, you know, to make the photo less blurry or whatnot, distorting or even warping the naturalness of the image, in the end, is not natural at all. It’s a contradiction, and if taken too far, can seriously mess with one’s perspective of self-confidence.
2) Besides the photo itself, there is also a level of dishonesty behind the captions that accompany it. Some just don’t make any sense. Ex: have a shirtless, bathroom pic of yourself? Why the hell would you caption it with a biblical quote?! Something like “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13. This quote has nothing to do with your amazing pecs. Perhaps you wanted to come off as a sensitive or well-versed guy (pun intended), in order to rack up the number of likes and comments on your profile- maybe even get girls. In any case, you look like an idiot. 😛
A note about Snapchat: while it’s an interesting, “hip” way to communicate with friends and family via photos, it can also get kind of ridiculous with the amount of people taking funny-face photos in public: while in the elevator, while walking to school, while eating at a restaurant, etc. It catches me off-guard, when you, all of a sudden, break into this weird, Miley Cyrus-sticking-out-tongue pose on the subway, and then immediately go expressionless after you finish taking the photo. It’s at once surprising and hilarious.
…and nudes. #nudefornude. This is the most disgusting, most pathetic trend going on in the Snapchat world. As if the nude leaks of celebrities not too long ago gave everyone the okay to start debasing themselves to their animal instincts. Like, what pleasure do you get out of a dick pic? People are just dumb, really freaking dumb, to engage in this shit. Go fuck yourself.
I have friends who have Snapchat and Instagram, but I’ve yet to get one. In fact, I have no intention of getting them; I’m perfectly content with posting my photos on Facebook and here, on WordPress. I have this belief that, as one gets older, these applications will become irrelevant and eventually, they will no longer be in use. ‘Til then, live it up. #YOLO, you narcissists.
– The Finicky Cynic