Nishall’s Blog: The skill of the selfie

Communities / Tue 6th May 2014 at 10:07am

By Nishall Garala

SO my blog this week is inspired from Friday when we had a Ministerial visit at college, with Matthew Hancock MP, Robert Halfon MP and Vicky Ford MEP, when I asked for a selfie with Mr Hancock, in front of everyone.

For those of you don’t what a selfie is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. The word selfie was named Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013, the word actually traces back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum, according to Oxford Dictionary.

So the moment on Friday, it was after a quick demonstration of a 3D printer and Mr Hancock was about to move on to another part of his trip, where I shouted can I get a selfie and there was sudden fall of silence, and lucky he said yes, other wise it would have been very embarrassing.

I must say occasional selfies are acceptable (which are acceptable to be seen in public), but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary and just weird.

We live in the age of the selfie. A fast self-portrait, made with a smartphone’s camera and immediately distributed and inscribed into a network, is an instant visual communication of where we are, what we’re doing, who we think we are, and who we think is watching. Selfies have changed aspects of social interaction, body language, self-awareness, privacy, and humor, altering temporality, irony, and public behavior. It’s become a new visual genre—a type of self-portraiture formally distinct from all others in history. Selfies have their own structural autonomy. This is a very big deal for art.

But a new YouGov survey finds that people think this particular selfie was unacceptable, however popular the phenomenon has become.

This is reflected in the public mood, for although they also say the selfie was unacceptable, many more (80%) say a selfie would be unacceptable at a genuinely sombre event: a funeral. In contrast, 85% say taking a selfie is acceptable at a party.
And in several other everyday circumstances, most do say taking a selfie would be acceptable. They include riding public transport (68% say this is acceptable), while at a wedding (76%), visiting a tourist destination (89%) and dining at a restaurant (60%). The only other places where there is less selfie-acceptance are in the bath (46% oppose while 42% say it’s OK) and while at work (45% oppose while 44% think it’s fine).

So from my opinion, go take a selfie, it is the new norm as long as it not everyday and not in the bath, and is acceptable in a public forum.

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