NYT Columnist David Brooks looked through the 5.2 million works published on Google Books to see how frequently different words were used at different times. He found that between 1960 and 2008, our vocabulary shifted from one that spent a lot of time exploring our community to one where we spend a lot of time talking about ourselves.
Today, we’re going to talk about selfies.
I’ve decided to embark on a series of posts about etiquette about topics like: can I wear a dress from the dump to a family wedding if the people getting married are fancy-pants doctors? Or, how should I respond to that Snapchat because I’m not sure if it was a mass snap or not?
So first up: The Selfie.
Selfies are a potential minefield for any human out there using the internet. So it’s time we addressed the where, when, what and exceptions of posting pics of your face.
Where: Keep it on Instagram, guys. I posted a selfie to Twitter the other day, and if Celie hadn’t favorited it, I probably would have deleted in shame several hours later (thx Celie 4 teh luv!). Selfies are ok on Facebook, but only if they’re interesting and extremely infrequent. Really, the selfie belongs on Instagram: the most zealous community of narcissists out there.
When: If you’re adhering to Instagram only, I say one out of every 10 pictures can be a selfie OR you can post one about every two weeks. It depends on whether you’re a frequent Instagram user or not. If you want to post them on Facebook, do it maybe once a year, tops, and only if they’re really interesting.
What: Even though it’s a picture of you taken by you with your hair fluffed to perfection and your lips in a sexy pout, you still have to consider the content of your photograph. Good selfies are funny, ironic and/or interesting.
And, of course, there are exceptions. Here are a few that I think count you out from the above:
The Age Exception: If you’re under the age of 15, honestly, do whatever you want, sweetie. We know that you’ll grow up and get smart in a few years. Also, if you’re over the age of 30, please never post a selfie UNLESS it is ironic.
The Irony Exception: If it’s ironic, it’s ok, as decreed by Hipster Law. The thing about irony is that everyone else has to find it ironic, not just you.
The Tumblr Exception: If you don’t understand how the Tumblr exception works, you shouldn’t be on Tumblr.
The Snapchat Exception: While Snapchat literally runs on selfies, you should only sent an unending barrage selfies to your BFF (real life BFF, not Snapchat BFF). People you snap on the regular but don’t chat on the regular should get a healthy mix of your face and your surroundings with sloppy red illustrations on them.
The Duckface Rule: NEVER DO IT, EVEN IRONICALLY.
So, that’s the etiquette of selfies, as spoken by Elika.
I know some people think selfies are responsible for the demise of Western civilization, but I don’t think they’re that bad. Especially if you avoid 3 nearly identical pics in a row on facebook.