My favourite filter is the golden butterfly crown. It’s not always available, in fact it’s been more than a month since I last had a chance to use it. I’ve had to resort to the basic hoe dog filter and the blush effect if I want to send a flattering selfie via Snapchat. If you scroll through my Instagram you’ll see if very rarely post selfies I’ve taken by myself (I much prefer photos taken of me or group photos), but LET ME TELL YOU, Snapchat is a whole different ball game. I’m not camera shy there. Why? Filters!
Filters give me a level of confidence I just don’t feel I possess in natural lighting. With filters, I go from amateur level selfie taker to Selfie Queen. Not everyone likes my selfie-singing in the car videos and ‘I’m going to work for the tenth day in a row’ updates. A friend of a friend told me so in fact. The exchange went something like this over snapchat chat.
Him: Your stories are lame
Him: Stop posting them
With a bit a bruised ego I thought about blocking him. But then I thought, no, if he doesn’t want to look at me with a dog filter on my face for the tenth day in a row that’s his own problem. It’s funny that I didn’t really care that someone was trying to put me down, I still felt like I looked at least semi-decent covered in filters and for some reason that’s what mattered to me (vain, I am aware).
I believe that selfies can be used for self-expression. In class we discussed various selfies, however the stand-out for me was the first photo we looked at – Kim Kardashian naked in the bathroom. The class was very divided in deciding whether or not this was an ‘appropriate’ form of self-expression. Some say each to their own, and personally it doesn’t bother me what Kim Kardashian posts, but if this was my best mate? I’d tell her to find another way to express. I think people need to be careful about what they post online.
I know it’s been said time and again and you all know it, but how we represent ourselves online can be viewed by people all over the world, not to mention your mum, your employer and of course future employers. Too many young people take an approach that ‘only God can judge’ and flaunt their bodies, their drug and alcohol use and other less than desirable choices all over the internet.
I don’t hide my love of vodka in my posts, my Instagram could be mistaken as Smirnoff promotional material, but I am cautious about how I’m representing myself to the world. In the lecture we looked at blogs and posts that featured ‘selfies at funerals’ and the ‘with my besties at Auschwitz’ Facebook page. These are cases of inappropriate times to take selfies and can cause an uproar in negative response from those who feel offended.
When I travelled Europe I was taking approximately 100 photos per day, many were admittedly selfies of me with landmarks, however there was one particular day that I took very few photos. We were visiting a concentration camp in Germany and the mood in the group was very different. We walked slower as we explored the site and we spoke softly. Most of us kept our phones in our pockets. It just wasn’t an appropriate time to pull out the iPhone and snap a photo of myself with the dog filter on my face.
My belief is that selfies can be great fun, can make us feel good about ourselves and are definitely a good tool for expression. However I just think that people need to be careful and considerate when taking and posting these photos because reputation and respect are important factors in showing the world who we are.