Taking Selfies is Awkward…Trust Me

Recently, I have come to the realization that maybe people don’t know what awkward means anymore. My Facebook newsfeed was filling up with statuses about “awkward” moments that aren’t really awkward at all. Like “that awkward moment when you sleep through your alarm.” I’m not sure what makes that situation awkward… that’s just inconvenient. The point being, that we often deem unworthy situations as being awkward. There is one thing that I have always and will probably always find slightly awkward, and that is the whole idea of taking pictures of oneself. Get your head out of the gutter; I mean a good old-fashioned selfie.

I don’t know why I have never really been into snapping photos of myself, but it’s never had that sparkling appeal that I look for in a pastime. I’m not going to lie to you and say I’ve never taken a cliché bathroom mirror photo, but you won’t find those anywhere. I just find the whole situation awkward. What do you do with your face? How about the other hand that isn’t holding your camera? What are you going to do with said photo after? The only thing for me that is more awkward than taking a selfie is watching someone else do it. Maybe I have some sort of self-esteem issue that renders me unable to understand the appeal of the whole concept.

There are three types of self-pictures:

*Note: the first two are not very awkward; the last one, however, has extreme awkward potential

1. The “omg-does-this-outfit-look-good-on-me?” mirror shot.

This is something I personally am guilty of doing. It’s the best way to get quick advice from your friends on certain fashion choices that may or may not hinder your future dating life. This is only awkward if you accidentally send it to someone, like your uncle.

2. The location/activity brag photo.

This type of picture is sometimes essential when you are wanting to be a little bit of a jerk about the superiority of your situation to that of a friend’s.

Example: I was in Toronto a month ago. One of my friends, however, was back at home stuck in math class. Obviously, I then proceeded to send her a picture of me with the CN Tower in the background. (This was slightly uncomfortable for the people walking past as they watched me struggling with the whole foreground background situation.)

3.The plain old awkward photo that always has some strangely irrelevant saying either typed onto the photo or in the caption.

The title is fairly self-explanatory. This category of photo has the potential to be the epitome of awkwardness. Before you take another one of these trying to make your ex upset over how good you look, think. He’d probably be more torn up about you moving on, having fun, as opposed to sitting at home alone, obviously listening to sad music because of the lyrics you have added under the picture.

We all have that one (or more than one) friend who takes a few too many pictures of herself.  Sometimes when I see these photos I cringe, not because I resemble Medusa or anything, but because I just don’t understand. What exactly does sharing that photo with everyone achieve? The most awkward thing is when I see people taking these pictures. A quick tip: iPads are not the most discrete things. There’s always that one person ‘duck-facing’ it up on the subway, leading everyone around them not quite sure what to do. Usually I avoid making eye contact, denying what just happened. The most awkward selfie situation (besides maybe the “Beauty And A Beat” music video) I’ve ever witnessed was a few months ago. There was a man taking a picture of himself… but he had gotten creative. He had fashioned some sort of retractable tripod device so he could use his SLR camera to snap the perfect picture alone. I am not going to lie; I was slightly impressed, but I couldn’t help but feeling slightly uncomfortable for him.

Now, I am not about to say that us girls (and some guys, I guess) should stop taking pictures of ourselves altogether, but think of the people around you. Think of those poor parents trying to explain to their inquisitive children the reason that person is making such a weird expression at their phone.  Try instead to capture happy moments with friends or family, maybe an arch nemesis (if that’s how you roll), rather than documenting those lonely nights in front of your bathroom mirror. A toilet in the background doesn’t exactly scream charmer.

P.S. Try to refrain from those crazy iPad mirror shots…they’re slightly ridiculous.

Featured image by Jordan Rubin