Posted in Book Circle

Serial Selfies

There is a chapter in Rettberg’s book titled “Serial Selfies,” which mentions “to really understand social media genres we need to see them as feeds and analyze each post or image as part of a series” because social media genres are cumulative. This type of digital self-representation is not a new concept; it is closely connected to the traditions of writing a diary or putting together a photo album over a period of time. In all of these situations, one can choose to share privately or to the open public, the stories/images change with time (aging factor), and it is a way to express one’s identity.

This idea of life-logging or “Chronicling the Everyday” is an interesting phenomenon to me, mainly because I don’t do it for the most part. However, there are millions of people who do this on a daily basis through technology, particularly Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. When I think of Instagram and Snapchat, I thought of a line in the reading that I found interesting, which is “The immediacy of the photos is important.” Wow, I find this to be true! It’s amazing how quickly we’ve come towards improved technology and accessibility to Wi-Fi today, allowing us to share photos immediately. I still remember when the most we could do on our cell phone was text message, and when it came to sharing photos, we had to wait to get to a laptop or desktop computer to transfer the photo taken from our phone to upload and share.

Perhaps the reason we feel the need to take another, and yet another selfie, is in part that we as the surrealists…never seem able to create a photo that will ‘fully correspond to what you want to see in yourself.'” – Rettberg

I love the quote above. Perhaps, that is one reason why I like Snapchat (I do not have FB or Instagram). I like the fact that it doesn’t save unless someone screenshots it, and in that case you know that they did so. Sure, it’s somewhere in the cloud and I am sure one can hack into it to find; but the point is knowing that on the rare occasion that I post a selfie photo if at all (most posts are of scenery, books I am reading, or food dish that I am devouring), others (invited friends) aren’t looking at it over and over at a later time. I also like the notion that it is up to my friends to chooses to look at it within the 24 window timeframe of when I post it onto “My Story.” This way I don’t feel self-absorbed as if I directed them to go check out my photo.

What are your take on serial selfies? Do you or have you chronologized photos of what you eat, read, yourself, or kids over time? Do you enjoy looking at your friend’s serial selfies? How do you feel or does it affect you if your friend stops posting or posts sporadically? Do you feel obliged to post anything at all especially if you all you do is view your friends’ photos?

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