no ifs, just butts

selfie

So you’d have to have been living in an unpowered shack on an island in the Okhotsk Sea not to know the selfie is a thing. But just how big a thing is frankly unbelievable.

One of the hottest gifts this Christmas was in essence a stick which allows people to extend their arm length to take better photos of themselves.

Retailers reported they could barely keep up the demand for selfie sticks, or as one wag dubbed it, the narcissus stick.

What archaeologists of the future will make of these telescopic aluminium poles is anyone’s guess.

While it’s unlikely this tool will be displayed alongside the stone axes and bronze arrowheads in the great timeline of human development, it could well go down as the object which defines the present decade.

Now, given that people have been taking photos of themselves since the 1830s, the selfie itself is hardly new.

It got an official lexicographical leg-up in 2013 when the Oxford English Dictionary folk named it word of the year after research showed its use had soared 17,000 per cent in 12 months.

The earliest published use is attributed to an Australian uni student called Nathan Hope who, in September 2002, posted a picture in a chat forum of himself sporting a stitched fat lip after falling over drunk at a mate’s 21st party.

Nathan wanted to know if compulsively licking his injured lip would make the stitches dissolve too soon and apologised to forum users for the quality of photo which was a “selfie”.

By rights it should have ended then and there.

But since then the world has gone selfie mad to the point where no less a personage than prime ministers, presidents and, even the pope, pose for selfies.

Personally, I don’t get it.

You go to the Louvre to gaze on the Mona Lisa and think there’s something missing here, so turn your back on the most famous painting of the world and take a photo of yourself as Beyonce did?

Now it seems the cult of self is making people sick and in some instances even killing them.

Last year an English teenager called Danny Bowman became the pin-up boy for selfie addiction after it was revealed he spent 10 hours a day taking up to 200 snaps of himself on his iPhone.

Other people have fallen to their deaths off cliffs and bridges while attempting to capture the shot of themselves and a famous landmark. One boy was critically wounded when he accidentally shot himself while taking a selfie with one hand and holding a gun to his chin with the other.

So I guess if only from the perspective of public safety we should welcome the selfie stick and prepare for the onslaught of improvements including hi-definition selfies, thermal selfies, 360 degree selfies, special teeth-whitening selfie flashes and selfie-drones.

But has society reached the bottom line with the belfie?

The phrase belfie was reportedly coined by “selfie queen” Kim Kardashian after posting a photo of her rear on Instagram.

Now, some wise ass, has come up with the Belfie stick – which is basically a selfie stick which “bends in the middle so you can angle it to snap the perfect shot of your booty”.

The belfie for people who need never ask: does my ego look big in this?

 

 

 

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