They’ve been variously described as vapid and vacuous, self-indulgent and self-obsessional, but if you spend any time on social media, you’ll know that a significant proportion of your news feed is taken up by self-portrait photographs, aka the ubiquitous selfie. Chances are you might post the odd selfie yourself. But is there a backlash brewing?
There was a campaign this Valentine’s Day encouraging people to go a whole 24 hours without posting a selfie on their social media profiles. A quick glance down my Instagram feed on the day suggested that #AntiSelfieDay had, however, fallen a little flat. A cutesy Valentine’s selfie featuring Beyoncé and daughter Blue Ivy had, at the time of writing, been liked a whopping 1.5 million times. Amazingly, however, the high queen of the selfie, Kim Kardashian, did manage to refrain, posting a loved-up snap of husband Kanye and daughter North instead.
Taking the perfect selfie has become something of an art form – lighting, angle, back-drop – so it’s perhaps not surprising that art galleries have been a popular selfie setting. However, museums across the US have now banned the use of the ultimate self-portrait accessory – the selfie stick- worried about the damage they can do poking into priceless art works and other visitors.
There have been some high profile examples of selfie misjudgements, too. Inappropriate portraits popping up online have included a Pilot at the controls of his aircraft and a group of surgeons posing round a patient on the operating table, causing a whole lot of trouble for the selfie subjects. Ms Kardashian herself raised eyebrows after posting a picture of herself with her toddler daughter cropped out – her eyes were closed so didn’t make the cut.
Although #AntiSelfieDay may yet have its moment, for now it looks like the selfie is here to stay.