Validating Me and Myselfie / Hyperallergic

Napoleon Dynamite sneaks a selfie. (via Tumblr)

Napoleon Dynamite sneaks a selfie. (via Tumblr)

CHICAGO — This week’s selfie series is curated entirely from submissions that you, dear internet reader, sent to me through the selfies [at] hyperallergic [dot] com email address. I was wondering if you’d accept the challenge to write, and indeed, you did. Thank you. You are fearless.

Selfies are oddly personal, and we don’t know each other. But now I’ve looked you in the eye through a computer screen, and honestly, I do feel like I know you a bit better. It’s like we’ve crossed paths before on a crowded street in New York, at a party in Los Angeles, at a truck stop somewhere off a deserted highway en route to a Midwestern city.

Really, we’ve only seen each other through the internet, a place of virtual highways that don’t produce smog but a sort of cyborgian citizen weariness — quick looks, glances, gazes, moments of quiet connection, epic disconnection. I looked back at you a bit too long, and that’s why you’ve appeared in this post. Is that so wrong — to want to be noticed, to ask people to see us the way we see ourselves? Some believe that selfies are all just mediated versions of our own narcissism in a culture of hypernetworked late capitalism. That’s a pretty easy answer to the more complicated question of the self and the selfie. Is wanting to connect or asking for attention selfish? Or is it just one selfie to another, looking for a subtle moment of affirmation?

Check out this week’s selfies on hyperallergic: