Don’t Turn Your Back on Selfies / Hyperallergic

Screengrab of selfeed.com, a live feed of all the #selfies on Instagram

Screengrab of selfeed.com, a live feed of all the #selfies on Instagram

LOS ANGELES — A selfie says a thousand words, especially when it’s taken with a longtime friend. We’ve all taken selfies to commemorate something together; it’s as if the moment doesn’t exist if we didn’t take that photo. Some selfie situations are more intense than others, however.

“I knew it was going to be the last time I ever [saw] him,” said Michael Mandell about a selfie that he took with his friend Tyler Hadley, after Tyler killed his own parents. This commemorative selfie reminds Michael of the friendship they used to have; now Tyler is serving two life sentences without parole. “He’s my longtime childhood friend, and that’s all I’m ever gonna see him as,” explains Michael to an aggressive Fox News reporter who interrogates him on why he’d want to remember his friend.

In Presidential selfie news, although Obama is known for his selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, White House officials may soon prevent the public from taking selfies with him. This came about after the Red Sox’s David Ortiz shot a selfie with Obama, which seemed innocuous at first but was soon questioned as a possible endorsement deal with mobile provider Samsung. Ortiz denies it, calling his selfie a spontaneous action. It’s hard to say what’s truth now after Ellen’s corporate-sponsored Academy Award selfie.

But not every selfie is a possible marketing effort. Some selfies could be the result of body dysmorphic disorder and a compulsive need for validation through social media. There are ways to take healthy selfies — those that “trigger honest reflection,” as Pamela Rutledge notes in Psychology Today. Her top two tips are: “Keep selfies in perspective by making them less posed; embrace playfulness,” and “Use selfies to explore different looks, interests, and outfits, but not different duck faces.”

What if your thing is looking at other peoples’ selfies instead of your own?  Finally someone has come up with Selfeed, which runs realtime updates of the #selfie hashtag on Instagram. And to think I wasted time bookmarking #selfie search on Webstagram! If you’d rather block the hashtag #selfie from your Twitter feed all together, you can go ahead and create a mute filter on Tweetbot for Mac. If you’re not sure how to do that, Jared Smith can help you.

Interestingly, the selfie has now surpassed the smartphone. Digital agency iStrategyLabs has released a new two-way mirror called S.E.L.F.I.E., or “The Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine,” which takes photos of you from the other side of the mirror and posts them to Twitter. Bonus points for the selfie-obsessed: their promo video uses a few seconds from the Chainsmokers’ “#SELFIE” song.

How will selfies affect the next generation? Is baby North West experiencing a new variation of the Lacanian mirror stage through a smartphone selfie with Kim, Kanye’s iPad portrait of the selfie taking, and someone else taking a photo of this whole scene?! It’s a meta-baby-selfie!

Here are our mature smart selfie shooters of the week, hailing from Finland, England, the US, and the bathroom.

Read the full post on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/120044/dont-turn-your-back-on-selfies/