Selfie Bingo!

There was a talk about selfies at the National Portrait Gallery in London a few weeks ago (http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/late-shift-1/panel-discussion-the-curated-ego-16012014.php), and when I was there I talked to Annebella Pollen who was chairing the session. As we were talking, anticipating the evening to come, I mentioned the fact that the same recurring themes seem to come up in discussions about the selfie. The predictability of some of these themes – ‘selfies are not photography’, ‘there are too many selfies’, and so on – interests me, as it demonstrates just how restricted the way of talking about this practice had often become. As I’ve discussed elsewhere, it’s not so much the photographs themselves, or what we even say about them, that I find important – it’s the social structures that support and are supported by such statements.

As a whimsical reaction to this, I have made a bingo card of (mostly critical) statements about selfies. Should you find yourself in a conversation with someone who has very definite ideas about selfies, you might wish to check off each statement, until you can call ‘House!’

Selfie Bingo

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90 comments

  1. I mean this academically, not condescendingly, but… Have you ever noticed that a person’s level of irritation with other people’s self-portraits* is inversely correlated with their own level of attractiveness?

    *I loathe the term “selfie.”

    1. Ha! That’s an interesting idea. I do wonder sometimes just what it is that prompts the knee-jerk anger response… And the term selfie is interesting, in that etymologically, it can’t be anything but something small and quite trivial, with the -ie ending. Do you take self portraits yourself?

      1. I do take them…and quite often. It’s fun. I think self-portraits are an interesting modern form of self-expression in that each person is attempting to catch themselves in some sort of perfect moment–eyeshadow just so, the best head tilt… Makes me wonder if duck face is most people’s ideal. If so, Lisa Rinna must be perfection. *shudder*

  2. very well work done…keep going…i liked it…its nice…as am a new blogger in this world and i wrote just 1 blog (story) (http://mindtechnorms.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/when-god-granted-tittus-to-go-to-earth-for-1-day-part-i/) and unable to find my viewer as like you, can u please help me by reading my 1st blog what wrong with my writing…is really something wrong with my writing or am just expecting too early…your helpful comments will really inspire me… and please follow me…

  3. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve said a few of these things myself. That is especially true when someone decides the appropriate place to take a selfie is walking down the sidewalk right in front of me. It is interesting to discuss the relevance of the pictures. While they may annoy curmudgeons like myself now, in the future I suppose they’ll be historically relevant to the selfier.

    In other news, I have added selfier to the photography lexicon. Enjoy.

    1. A new word! Many thanks – I’ve been clumsily saying ‘selfie-taker’ for ages now. I shall update my terminology :)

      I think I’d probably have a problem with someone stopping to do anything right in front of me in the street, whether it’s eating, looking for something in their bag or taking a photo. I find it interesting that you would use selfies here as an example of poor social / spatial awareness. Do people take a lot of selfies outdoors, where you live? The Guardian newspaper lists the cities in the world where most people take selfies, if you wish to compare: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/mar/13/manila-selfiest-city-most-selfies

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