From Our Readers

The Age of the Selfie

Am I the only one who thinks posting a selfie on social media is the vainest thing a person can do? Would you print out a photo of your face and pass it out to 100 of your friends just because? Oh no, you wouldn’t? Then do not use the internet to do so, either.

Let’s take a moment to break down the 10 different types of selfies we are all guilty of posting so that we may begin to take strides to make all of these extinct one day:

1. The “I’m Bored” Selfie. Whether you’re bored in your car, bored in a waiting room at your doctor’s office, or bored at home watching TV, please do not feel the need to take a photo of this and post it for all to see. Guess what? I’m really bored at the doctor’s office too, but that’s why they have Highlights Magazine stacked up in the waiting room.

2. The “I’m At an Event” Selfie. Oh, you’re at a Justin Timberlake concert? Guess what’s way more exciting for all of your Instagram followers to see? A photo of the concert! Some acceptable shots: the performer, the stage, the crowd, the lights, even the line for the ladies room during ‘Cry Me a River’.

3. The “Funny” Selfie. The culprit is most likely a self-proclaimed “comedian”. Stop trying to disguise the fact that you just posted a photo of your face online by making a weird or goofy expression. These will most likely be captioned with something like “I’m such a nerd!” or “just being silly”.

4. The “Hashtag” Selfie. These are the worst kind of selfie. Just because you put a pound sign in front of an adjective does not mean it’s any less vain. If you post a selfie and hashtag any of the following: #me #cute #pretty #beauty; you might as well just caption it “I’m so pretty, look at how pretty I am you guys!”

5. The “Bragging” Selfie. Does anyone understand the value of being humble these days? We seem to forget the difference between appreciating an accomplishment and gloating to the world. Can we all be a bit more #modest?

6. The “Mirror” Selfie. This is most likely taken in a bathroom of a bar or a messy bedroom. Guess what is not a flattering backdrop for your photo? Toilet stalls or your pile of dirty laundry and unmade bed.

7. The “I Have a Cool Job” Selfie. This type of selfie is posted so that the postee can hypothetically shout from the rooftops that they have a cooler job than you. These are easy to identify because the postee will usually include a hashtag to remind you that they do in fact have the coolest of jobs. Some examples: #productionlife #producer #producerlife #tv #setlife #onset #werk #thatsawrap

8. The “We Are SO in Love” Selfie. Having breakfast with your boyfriend on your couch on Wednesday morning is not proving to me how in love you are. Having a private life seems almost obsolete now that we function solely on social media. Make an effort to keep some photos to yourself. My parents have been married for 30 years and they somehow manage to survive each day without posting a photo of the two of them on Instagram.

9. The “My New…” Selfie. My new haircut, spray tan, eyebrow wax, you name it. The world does not need to see that your hairdresser cut off an inch.

10. The “I Never Post Selfies, But…” Selfie. This is not a disclaimer that makes posting a selfie acceptable because you chose to caption it with this statement.

Years from now you want to look back on your digital photo album and recall all of the memories and moments you had the chance to experience through-out your lifetime. So come on kids, be more creative. You have the ability to chronicle your life in photographs for thousands to see. Make that photo something worthwhile.

Sara lives and works in New York City.  She loves lobster rolls and Law and Order SVU marathons.  Her life goals include: maintaining a savings account, living in an apartment with a washer and dryer, and never having to pay more than $45 for blonde highlights.  She has one child; a pug named Roxy.  You can find her on Twitter @sarashae

Featured Image via Shutterstock.

  • Samantha Broes

    It seems awfully pretentious to bag selfies. Hashtag lighten up.

    An occasional selfie hurts nobody. Ten in a row then we have a very insecure person fishing for fake internet points.

  • Kelsey Taylor

    I was with you until I read the article. You just sound like a huge hater.

  • Jessica Scobey

    no slut shaming but selfie shaming is ok? weird priorities, guys. just chalk it up to everyone sucks at everything, call it day and enjoy cool stuff. bye.

    • Cherish Brown

      If you’re comparing this article to slut shaming, you’re kind of missing the gravity of the latter, and that’s way more worrying to me than the content of this article.

      • Jessica Scobey

        I’m not missing the gravity of anything. I’m pointing out contradiction for women at every turn.

  • Angelissa Cassiani

    I think Ezra Koenig said it best when he said,

    “I’m definitely pro-selfie. I think that anybody who’s anti-selfie is really just a hater. Because, truthfully, why shouldn’t people take pictures of themselves? When I’m on Instagram and I see that somebody took a picture of themselves, I’m like, ‘Thank you.’ I don’t need to see a picture of the sky, the trees, plants. There’s only one you. I could Google image search ‘the sky’ and I would probably see beautiful images to knock my socks off. But I can’t Google, you know, ‘What does my friend look like today?’ For you to be able to take a picture of yourself that you feel good enough about to share with the world – I think that’s a great thing.”

  • Emily Harring

    I completely disagree with this article. If someone is confident in his/herself and wants to post a picture on whatever social media outlet they may have, who cares? If it bothers you, don’t look. In an age when SO many people constantly judge how they look, if they actually have a moment when they feel damn good, we shouldn’t be getting on their case about it.

    Let’s take a moment to bitch about serious matters, like Ukraine or the education system, rather than harmless selfies.

  • Daniel Crittenden

    If my pug is in my selfie, is it still a selfie?

  • Layne Gerbig

    Hmmm. I agree selfies can be a bit vain. But, what’s so wrong with being proud of your new hair cut or your “cool” job? Selfies chronicle your life, and decades from now, I think at least, I think I’d like to recall the great concert I went to or an evening I spent with my boyfriend– heaven forbid– with a selfie.

  • Cat Graff

    I don’t think selfies are a bad thing. And yes, in school, we’d get photos and give them to each other. Even looking through my parents and grandparents things, they also did this. It’s nothing new, and, there’s nothing wrong with it. Celebrate yourself! Otherwise, there’s always an unfollow button.

  • Ken Otwell

    This is silly. Sharing pictures of yourself with friends and loved ones is perfectly normal. We’ve been doing it ever since kindergarten class pictures, it’s just gotten a lot easier.

  • Senyansen Torres

    Okay we stopped being “modest” but we are this selfish generation that was raised to believe that we are the coolest kids on earth, on history. And it’s not even our fault, I just read something that goes like this:
    Im pro-pictures that my friends want to share (selfies) because okay, I’ve seen their faces, but I’ve seen a hundred pictures of the sky too, of flowers and sunsets. I can google the sky, but I can’t google how does my friend looks/feels today.

    And I think I agree with that.

  • Azra K

    I agree with the comments, not with the article…. if a friend goes to a concert I want to see them at the concert, not random non-personal pics i can find on the internet, same goes if tthey visit the mountains or a national park… you in the pic makes it a lot more personal and so less boring

  • Jenikah Joy

    I disagree, I think there’s a few GREAT things about selfies.
    1. Selfie can mean self confidence: today you looked good, you were having a great time somewhere, you feel happy.
    2. People connect to social media because they WANT to know what you’re up to: You can post a hundred pictures of an ocean, but the reason we friended you is to see what YOU are up to.
    3. Remembering: There are plenty of times when we feel down, or unmotivated, and going through photos and seeing ourselves in that dress, or at that place, or feeling that way…it makes us want it again.

    I think selfies are not selfish, I think they’re fun and yes, they can probably be overused by people who are simply taking 100’s a day of them doing nothing. But at the root of it, I dig a good selfie.

    • Beverly Turner Houpt

      Yes, I totally agree!
      Selfies are power.

  • Charlotte O’Connor

    What’s wrong with being vain again?? :/

  • Sydni Schiavone

    No. Who are you to judge what makes a person feel good about themselves? I’m so sick of this whole “you should have confidence but not TOO MUCH confidence” bullshit. This kind of stuff is why we need feminism. I would much rather be vain than hate the way I look. So what if I think I look cute and frequently want to document it? If it bothers you, scroll past. I think it’s utterly repulsive that something as simple as taking selfies (which is honestly such an empowering and body positive activity) bothered you so much to the point where you had to sit down and write an entire article on it judging those people who do. What a gigantic waste of time. Try writing about something that isn’t a complete steaming pile of judgey bullshit.

  • Madeleine Cecilie K. Rasmussen

    I love this article! This is exactly how I feel about selfies and the ppl who post them. A huge ‘thank you’ from one “hater” to another;)

  • Brittany Canovas

    Number 4 and 5 I definitely agree with. But other than that, I think Selfies are a good way to express yourself. And in the long run, you’re documenting your life, and you can always look back and remember how fun that Justin Timberlake concert was. I like to take Selfies of myself with my new puppy, and I’m excited to see the pictures over the years and see how much she’s grown. Or if you’re having a bad day, you can look at an old Selfie you took and think, “Dang, I look awesome,” and then you’ll feel a little better!

  • Sarah Spears

    Apparently no “selfie” is the right one according to this article so please refrain from taking any pictures with yourself in them because the author that whose Twitter account picture is one with a full size of her face doesn’t want you to come off as vain or conceited.

    • Cat Graff

      I totally noticed that too, the comments on this article should be the actual article. Is anyone actually curating Hello Giggles? I thought this was a positive place for women.

      • Jennifer Still

        Hi, I’m the Managing Editor and I do the curating. This article is by one of our readers and is opinion-based. Perhaps most importantly, it’s also tongue-in-cheek and meant to be humorous. At HelloGiggles, we can appreciate our own ridiculous tendencies, and while I can’t really speak for Sara (the author), I think it’s pretty safe to say that’s the spirit she’s coming from. 😉

        • Cat Graff

          Thanks for the reply. From other comments I’ve read I wasn’t the only one taking it a certain way. I guess I would have gotten that from it if she were making fun of herself more. Mostly, people shouldn’t think celebrating themselves a bad thing. And, I know it’s a light issue, but I hate for anyone to feel bad about stuff they do when it doesn’t hurt anyone else. 😉

        • Kati Graham

          It really, REALLY doesn’t read tongue-in-cheek, and is actually falling victim to Poe’s Law so hard that people are actually using it as an anti-selfie article.

  • Candasse Randle

    I can kind of see the message that was trying to be conveyed: make memories and experiences outside of yourself. However, I have to agree with how many of the readers felt with this article – it felt hateful. You can’t inspire anyone to do anything great by being sour or close-minded. Selfies are overused by many people, but most people who take them are documenting both themselves AND the experience, which, like someone else said, is much more personal and enjoyable to see. The reason people share more of themselves on the internet is because you don’t always get the pleasure of seeing many of your friends and family every day; that’s the beauty of being able to upload a picture in seconds to show someone you’ve lost weight, or love your new haircut. If you saw these people every day, you wouldn’t need to hand them a photo because you’d be seeing each other face-to-face (which takes care of them seeing your new haircut or what have you). The ideal point you should want to express is that while we take selfies to show people what we’re up to, we should endeavor to spend more time with these people in person and make more memories that way. Life moves too quickly. Be happy, everyone!

    P.S. – my avatar is a selfie that makes me smile every day. That has to count for something.

  • Emily Reese

    I can’t say that I agree with this…. I think that if you feel good about yourself in any way and feel that you want to post a photo of it, you should be allowed. It honestly does give some people a confidence boost when they post a photo of themselves and people like it or comment nice things. Why shouldn’t I be happy with the way I look one day? I’m not gonna blurt it out to everyone like ‘HEY I FEEL PRETTY TODAY’, but posting a picture just kinda makes me feel good. And I know how I feel when I post a picture that I really like, I have kind of a sense of pride, so I know how other people feel when they post a picture of themselves. Leave it alone, people can do what they want because I don’t think posting a selfie really is harming anybody…

  • Lauren ‘Garth’ Geach

    I don’t agree. I can see the point being made here – less photo’s of your face ‘just because’ andmore photo’s of memories. But, I have to disagree. I say take as many selfies of yourself as you like, because maybe, just maybe, someone will comment something positive and that might just help turn someones mood up a notch. Feeling blue? Wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Or maybe it’s more serious, you’ve had a few months bad luck, or maybe you have a mental illness, such as anxiety, an eating disorder or depression. Take a picture of yourself, think it’s alright, post it on a social network, get comments. Some say how pretty you look today. Some might say that you have a nice smile or nice eyes. Comments like that can lift someones mood so much. It might sound melodramatic, but I assure you, it’s not. I am one of those people. And I can honestly say that just getting one nice comment can really help pick me up.

    I’m sorry, but how can getting positive body image comments be a bad thing?

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