Published on November 4, 2013 | by Nina Hoogstraate


The Selfie

Nina Hoogstraate

ALN features writer, Nina Hoogstraate [Seren Jenkins]

I remember being a young, confused teenager and coming back from school, getting out of my hideous uniform and logging on to my dad’s old computer.

While waiting for the hideously noisy internet to dial up, I’d get changed into my Ramones T-shirt and skinny black jeans, whack on some black eyeliner and get my camera out to create a new profile pic.

Yes, I was an emo kid and had MySpace. And yes, I used to hold the camera so high above my head when taking photos of myself you could only see my side swept fringe, nose and ‘cool’ band t-shirt (mind you, I still love the Ramones and AC/DC).

I don’t remember it being called a ‘selfie’ specifically, but it was what everybody my age did, and with no shame.


So yeah, I admit, I have taken a selfie. Scrolling through many of my friends’ Facebook and Instagram feeds today, it all seems like a return of the Myspace-era circa 2003, but this time more revealing, more frequent and in some cases, more intimate.

It seems as though everyone is getting too comfortable posting their entire lives on social media websites and with every like or positive comment they get, they will post more.

I understand if you’re happy about your new haircut you want to share it with your friends, but I’m not sure if all 563 followers on Instagram are interested.

It’s become so popular, even the Oxford Dictionary has made it an official term, defining it as: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

It offers an example sentence: “Occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary.”


I would like to ask everyone “Why do you take selfies?” but that would be too in-your-face, and will most likely put people in a very uncomfortable position.

To me, it seems mad that so many people are happy to share so much of their lives online. It has made me think (and I might be wrong on this) that the reasoning behind selfies boils down to self-confidence (or lack thereof).

With every ‘like’ a person gets for a photo showing them with a low cut top, breasts out and a ‘new necklace from my baby, love u xx’, the more comfortable it will make them feel about themselves. Which is why it makes sense that these people will post more and more.

It’s addictive, having an online presence. But personally I’d rather see a stunning photo of a sunset.


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