The Selfie-ish Generation

Whether it be walking around a mall, a crowded street or a park, I see people taking selfies either of themselves or along with their friends or family members huddling together so that they are able to fit themselves in the tiny rectangular window of their smartphones.

The usual chronology of events is people getting together to have an experience and enjoying each other’s company, and out of the blue, one bright individual gets an idea of recording those moments. He announces precipitously that a selfie is about to be taken, whips out his smartphone and captures the coveted selfie. The picture is exchanged and sent off to the digital ether. An alternate scenario is a girl taking her selfies from different angles while she waits for her train or bus to arrive, and moving her fingers as fast as she can on her phone to share it with her friends on Snapchat, Instagram or *insert the current hot social media app*. Right now, there are countless other amusing ‘selfie stories’ floating around the planet as the trend has picked up in the past years.

I’m not saying I don’t like selfies, I was a big-time selfie connoisseur myself not too long ago. Taking selfies is a great idea as we are able to record the wonderful moments with our loved ones or simply capture our own beauty and looks whenever we want. But we also need to understand our intentions behind taking selfies.  

Are we taking selfies for our own joy and happiness or are we doing this compulsively to seek validation from other people? Are we trying to justify our accomplishments and project the fact that we are living a happy and successful life to our digital friends or simply creating memories and capturing moments of bonding with our loved ones? The undetected premise of taking photographs of ourselves and sharing with others is the underlying self-doubt and a sign of our own little need of approval from others about ourselves and our lives.

We try to capture the fleeting moments for our memories but we never go back to them. The truth about our current selfie-ish generation is that we have become more conscious of ourselves. Because we doubt our own beauty, looks, lifestyle and our level of success, we seek external validation to feel better about ourselves. We have become our own center of focus both physically and metaphorically. Due to this, we forget weaving the thread of humanity in our lives. Bonding with others is an internal phenomenon, not an external evidence. Recording moments is a great habit but we need to dial in with our intentions as well.

If we look in a broader view, the end goal is feeling good about ourselves and feeling satisfied with our lives. We don’t need compliments, and ‘likes and hearts’ of others to feel better about ourselves. All we need to do is work on aligning with ourselves and going within.

When we understand that the true source of happiness and goodness is within us, we can let go of the need for ephemeral spikes of dopamine and electronic validation. We can start feeling good whenever we want to. All we need to do is to access and generate the happiness inside us.

In essence, we’re always in control of how we feel about ourselves, and we don’t need to go hunting for others’ validation and approval. In the end, it’s not about the selfie, but it’s about the self!


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