In 2013 the Oxford Dictionary named it Word of the Year. It’s been called indulgent and narcissistic just as often as it’s been deemed inclusive and expressive. And to make things even trickier, it’s nearly impossible get just the right angle. We’re talking, of course, about the selfie.
Here at Clementine Daily, our ongoing quest for inspired authenticity means we can appreciate both sides of the selfie story. On the one hand, selfies embody the success and appeal of social media. They allow us to share snippets of our days—from a gaffe that makes us giggle to a gown that makes us glow—with friends and followers across the globe. Then again, we’re the first to unfollow when someone’s Instagram feed becomes a shrine to the mirror shot. It’s a dilemma that leaves us asking: to selfie or not to selfie?
It’s not a decision we can make for you. However in answering the question for ourselves, we approach the issue as we would anything else in life: with intention and moderation. Employ these two filters on a case-by-case basis to determine your own selfie stance.
Intention: When inclined to post a selfie, first reflect on its purpose. Are you genuinely excited to share, regardless of the reception? Or are you relying on the number of ‘likes’ to provide you with external validation? If a selfie that goes over like a lead balloon has the power to deflate your mood, then put down the phone and give yourself some IRL TLC. Go for a walk, read a magazine, or get a manicure—and post a #latergram of your freshly polished nails!
Moderation: Social media is a conversation, not a monologue. Just as it’s rude to talk only about your own issues with friends, it’s equally discourteous to inundate your followers with photos of yourself. Take a moment to review your output as a whole. A relatively broad distribution of subject matter (street scenes! pet antics! last night’s avocado toast!) indicates that you’re almost certainly making a balanced and engaging contribution. But if your feed is the visual equivalent of a dinner party dominated by personal drama, it might be time to face the camera outwards.
p.s. No degree of social media validation can replace the comfort of loving yourself no matter what. Here are three tips for putting an end to the comparison game.