#bantheselfie A Friday Ramble

29 Sep

selfie stick3

Now, don’t take issue with the fact that it’s only Tuesday today, OK? I know that but I usually rant or ramble on Friday. I like consistency – order in my world.

Listen, the thing is the world as we know it has ended. Humankind has been rendered down to a selfish, narcissistic orb. “But Bill, why do you despair? Is it the Western world’s halfhearted response to refugees in need? The plight of Mother Earth as she battles climate change? Your lack of luck securing a lunchtime audience with Penelope Cruz?” No, it’s not that – although the last one is indeed troubling.

It’s the selfie! Yes, the selfie is ruining almost everything. Let me explain.

The Director and I haven’t really traveled much this past year as far as visiting ‘tourist’ type sights. We have usually retired to the cottage, visited the Big Smoke, Providence or nearby wine regions rather than visit TripAdvisor. But, this past month, we were in Spain for almost three weeks with our Lonely Planet in hand. And, I was struck by the………..well, how do I put it? I was struck by the Selfie Stick. Actually struck by it as I tried to look at such inspiring places as the Sagrada Familia and the Alcazar.

Everywhere we went, people of all ages were posing – yes, posing like models – so that the sight they’d come to photograph themselves at was in the background. Yes, it appears they went only to photograph themselves. “Great picture Muffy. What’s that building in the background?” “Not sure but it is indeed cool – the picture of me that is. I was there and I’m damn cute.”

Let me give you the drill:
1. You (or worse, you and your  friends) position yourself in the middle of a busy walkway or stairway. with the sight behind you.
2. You either extend your Selfie Stick so that it crosses the entire walkway or, in the absence of the stick, you completely extend your arm with phone.
3. You pose. It’s almost Madonnaesque. I can’t stress how silly this looks – posing at the exit of the Museu Picasso. Women in particular do the Vogue thing.
4. Click. Done? Oh no.
5. You quickly, like a cat, rotate the phone and check the picture because it’s so cool seeing yourself. “I think that I could look cooler.” No doubt about that.
6. Maybe ask all your buds to take a look? Then…
7. Repeat steps 1 through 5
8. Again and again – endlessly. There are never enough pictures of you to post to your 150 ‘friends’.

In some cases, steps one through eight can take longer than Karsch took with his portraits. Hell, Ansel Adams was quicker with his shutter, if you know what I mean. Michelangelo would be tapping his foot! I feel like Rosanna Danna when I say, “Hey, selfie person. Stop with all the selfies. You’re makin’ me sick!”

I’m not complaining about social media. I’ve already done that here. What it is is that I’m frustrated and a bit worried about Humankind. Why so much ‘me’ and not much ‘everyone else’. Why insert ‘me’ into everything around you? Why can’t people just appreciate what they are seeing, doing, without taking a picture of themselves doing it? No one gives a shit really. You may think that they do (the ‘like’ on your Facebook page is really a courtesy). They are more interested in their own selfies than yours. And we non-selfie people? Seriously? We never gave a shit.

What is the origin of this compulsion to be seen? Is it part of our primal makeup? Did Neanderthals pose for cave drawings over and over – “Hey, Grog did you like get my good side? Let me see. Like do another one with my hand on my club and then like we have to post it on the social cave wall (intonation includes cave person vocal fry)”

Whatever the reason for selfie obsession, it’s disappointing. A bit sad and pathetic.

But I’m not here to understand, explain or feel badly for these obnoxious, selfish people. I’m here to mobilize the rest of us! WE MUST #stoptheselfie EVERYWHERE.

Here’s my suggestion to stop this in it’s tracks. I know, we could photobomb everyone taking a selfie making them un-postable. We could buy all the selfie sticks in the world. We could stop ‘liking’ people’s posts with selfies. We could appeal to Apple and Samsung to include a selfie ban within the incomprehensible Terms or Use. We could shout obscenities at selfie takers. Wait, I think I did that last one already. A non-violent approach might be to simply ask the selfie taker, “Would you like me to take that one singular picture of you?” That always met the need before.

What do you think?

#bantheselfie #bantheselfiestick

selfie stick

 

3 Responses to “#bantheselfie A Friday Ramble”

  1. marty September 30, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    what’s really sad is the latest i6 phone has been designed to making selfie taking even easier!!!!! I think the ship has sailed!!!
    marty

  2. Susan Jory Spindler September 30, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    Dear Bill,

    I quite simply could not agree more.

    Sue

    PS, despite lack of photographic evidence, I have been to the Eiffel Tower. Twice.

  3. Dracaena Wines September 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    I actually saw a guy almost fall off a cliff while using a selfie stick. He was backing up I guess to get more of the background and almost stepped too far. I agree ban the selfie sticks! Hanks for the laughs. Loved the caveman selfie statement

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