Ponderings with Doug – July 1, 2016

 

Selfies.

A selfie is a photograph of oneself usually taken with one’s cellphone. The photograph is then posted on social media. I have never taken nor would want to take a Doug-selfie. If you don’t want your arm showing in the selfie, you can purchase a selfie stick to hold the camera at proper selfie distance. One uses a selfie stick so they can give the illusion of having friends who are taking the photograph. Selfies are mostly harmless and ubiquitous. I can’t decide if they are evidence of a troubling trend or a theological truth.

We are self-centered creatures. What matters is what matters to me and not you, right? Selfies are evidence that “it is all about me.” American photographic culture has descended from Ansel Adams’breathtaking landscapes to Bambi and Bubba Bimbo’s goofy self-aggrandizing selfies. We are missing a world around us because we are so busy taking pictures of ourselves.Our social media mania could be retitled “all about me.”

Selfies can be dangerous.

A 17-year-old Russian amateur photographer climbed atop a railway bridge in Saint Petersburg to take a selfie. She lost her balance and fell to her death.A 32-year-old woman from North Carolina collided with a truck moments after posting selfies of herself online.The pilot of a Cessna 150K and his passenger were killed when the pilot was distracted taking selfies and lost control of the plane. A 19-year-old from Houston died after trying to take an Instagram selfie while holding a loaded gun to his head. He accidentally fired the gun and shot himself in the throat. There is a common theme in these selfie death stories, which involve falling, moving vehicles, guns and energized electrical transmission lines.

These stories are categorized and collected in a couple of places. I can’t tell if they narrate the accidental improvement in the gene pool or the sad decline of our culture. I know an employer who caught one of their employees taking selfies in the bathroom. She was caught when she posted the bathroom selfie to her Facebook account. There are places where cameras should be outlawed and the porcelain palace is one of those places. People have no boundaries when it comes to selfies and sharing them with the world.

The selfie takers are now upset that Samsung is attempting to beautify the selfie world.Their cell phone comes with software to automatically Photoshop your selfie. The particular example was of a young woman who had a beautiful freckled face. The software edited her photo to remove the freckles. The feature is called “Beauty Face.” The software also adjusts the facial proportions to be longer and narrower, thus slenderizing the subject of the photo. This falls under the broad category of lying to ourselves about ourselves. I wonder if I can skip Dr. Meg’s weigh in next time and show her my slenderized selfie as proof of weight loss and healthy eating. The scales don’t lie, now selfies can.

So now cell phone manufacturers determine what is and is not beautiful. I have to tip my hat to the selfie culture; they are balking at the intrusion of this feature into their culture.

I should rejoice at the improvement in technology. In the olden days we would set the timer on the camera and sprint into the picture. You could tell who was in charge of the camera.They were the one with the surprised look on their face.They found out five seconds is not a lot of time to get into the picture. Selfies have some advantages over the olden ways. They are instant.They don’t require friends to take a picture of you. They can be funny or evidence in court depending on what you are doing. They are a commentary on our culture and you might see the nature of the commentary differently than I do. They are here to stay and people in them will get better looking and the camera will finally remove ten pounds with this new software. In theory this should mean I could take a skinny selfie!

I was thinking about it. God didn’t take selfies. He sent a selfie to us to show us what He was like.

We call God’s selfie Jesus.