Ah, The Selfie Generation.

I'm worried for The Selfie Generation.

You know what a "selfie" is, don't you? It's when people take pictures of themselves, most often doing duck face and then of course, hashtagging it (when did "hashtag" become a verb?) as,  "#selfie" on social media sites like twitter, facebook and instagram. There's usually no occasion for it and there is no limit in frequency.

My self portrait. Where I was trying out red lipstick. #NoSelfiesHere

I absolutely loathe the word "selfie" as much as I do "panties".

It feels dirty and ridiculous to say.

Grow up.

Only toddlers add "ie" or "ee" on to the end of words and only then is it acceptable. Vivi has her "dollies" and her "chuppies" (chupon is the Spanish word for pacifier) and that's ok because she's TWO-YEARS-OLD.

When full-grown, ok, slightly grown people take pictures of themselves for no good reason other than to share with a world who assumedly wants to see another picture of them, it kills me.  Not everyone wants to see you. All of  the time.

I harken back to when I was in junior high school. I'd go to school. I'd get home from school and do my chores (yes, chores) and then IMMEDIATELY, as soon as possible, get on the telephone. (Ah, the benefits of being a "latch-key" kid. Remember that phrase?)

I can safely say that I am quite thrilled that video-conversing wasn't the norm when I was 14 and awkward. Today, the kiddos are CONSTANTLY facetiming and skyping. LIKE ALL THE TIME. LOOKING AT EACH OTHER. And chatting. And then when they're done they're writing on one another's walls and instagramming and blah, blah, blah. Is this weird?

I'm not saying that being a teenager in the 90's was the coolest thing in the WORLD (lots of flannel and high-waisted, wide-leg Mudd jeans and more), but there was something to be said for the mystique of not SEEING someone I was on the phone with.

AND, there was something to be said for not always being available.

A boy would call MY HOME and gasp! -- maybe I wasn't home, and gasp! -- maybe I missed that phone call and instead got a PHONE MESSAGE written in handwriting ON A PIECE OF PAPER or maybe it was even on my ANSWERING MACHINE.

I didn't actually have a cell phone until I went away to college. Yup. COLLEGE. Now kids have cell phones when they're 8. (That's another blog post.)

But The Selfie Generation, they're texting and skyping and selfie-taking. They're facebook status-updating and checking their instagram pic "likes" as soon as they wake up in the morning for validation. When I was a kid, yep, when I was a kid, there was virtually no way that you could amass that much validation (and also criticism) in such a public forum. Nope.

Everything is just so... out there now.

(I appreciate the irony of this. You know, since I'm a blogger complaining about social media and the interweb.)

But The Selfie Generation scares me because I want them to experience life; not just take pictures of it.
I want them to realize that success and happiness is not measured in "likes."
I want them to read the news; not status updates.
I want them to experience silence and quiet conversation-less periods of time.
I want them to experience a missed call.
I want them to go somewhere without a phone in their hand.
I want to them to have conversational skills.
I want them to be able to spell.
I want them to realize that the world of social media is not the real world.

Oh, Selfie Generation.

No one wants to see you because it's not all about you.

...YOU need to invest in other people and get to know them.

Think.Beyond.Yourself.

BE present. Don't text, call. Don't call, speak face-to-face.

Social media is a conversation tool; not the conversation.

Stop taking pictures and start creating relationships.

That's all.

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10 comments:

  1. I'm totally guilty of the self portrait online. I used to have a 'fashion blog'. It's one of the reasons I shut it down. I felt stupid putting pictures of myself everywhere.

    Sometimes I enjoy seeing pics of what people are wearing, so I don't mind them.

    I'm so guilty of being addicted to my iphone. I almost wish I had never gotten it. I never slept with my old phone. I check Instagram, and FB before I get out of bed. It's an addiction.

    I need to slap myself upside the head when I find myself on my phone too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FIrst off - I LOVE fashion blogs and I LOVE when you show fashion. See, there is a PURPOSE in that. You're not just taking copious photos of yourself to post online for no good reason. AGAIN - fashion bloggers and fashion lovers are excluded from this convo.

      But I hear you about the phone addiction - it's hard not to be all over that mess all the time.

      Delete
  2. UGH...YES. I was nodding in agreement to this entire post.

    You said it FAR better than I can because I get SO annoyed with this kind of stuff.

    "No one wants to see you because it's not all about you.


    ...YOU need to invest in other people and get to know them.

    Think.Beyond.Yourself.

    BE present. Don't text, call. Don't call, speak face-to-face.

    Stop taking pictures and start creating relationships."

    YES. YES. YES.

    I have thought about just getting rid of all social media, but I think it can be used wisely and is good...but it is about balance. Not having it take over your life. Living your life for YOU and not because it would be good picture or status to show off to other people.

    I banned myself from my phone the other day because Henry was playing and I just reached over and started getting on FB and instagram. I had NO reason too....it was habit. Henry came over and actually said NO and pointed to the ground. (for me to sit on the floor to play) I shouldn't have waited for him to tell me, I should have been playing with him. I didn't even WANT to be on my phone, I just got on because it was available to me. So I was not allowed to get on the next day, and you know what - I missed NOTHING. What I would have missed was playing blocks with my son.

    Oh Kylee, I could rant about this for FAR too long!! :)

    And if you post about kids having cell phone....oh dear lord, hold me back!

    And the word Selfie is stupid.

    ReplyDelete

  3. Social media IS good! It brings people together! It sparks conversation. It's truly a good thing. It helps people not feel alone. I get all of that...

    ...but I hear you about TOO much of a good thing.

    Moderation. We're all trying to figure it out.

    And I'm glad that you agree that "Selfie" is dumb. Because it is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post.
    I am a bonus mom to kids that live within the Selfie Generation. I am an Autnie to kids that live in the Selfie generation. And I am a mama to a Doodle, that, inevitably will live in some kind of modified version of the Selfie generation. (Good thing she is TWO, bad thing is we have no clue what the teen years and technology will look like for her).

    This is exactly how I feel... It is one thing to have the things that allow for social acceptance, it is another to live in a world where you are no longer experiencing life and rather seeking social validation.

    I have so many opinions. For the sake of our kids self esteems, for grammar and for the sake of human interaction, there needs to be a better solution.

    PS - I hate selfies...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what, friend? It will be interesting to see the social media choices our kiddos make because they're physically a product of it. Their pregnancies were announced on facebook, their labors on twitter, their birth announcements as a status update.

      Maybe they'll run like the wind in the other direction and choose to be more protective with their information? Or, maybe they'll appreciate moderation.

      It shall be interesting to watch...

      Delete
  5. This whole post expresses one of my bigger fears about raising children. How do you teach them these things?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oy...

      By example, maybe?

      My goal with my girls is, and will always be, empathy. They need to be able to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS need to try to understand the feelings of others and learn to look beyond themselves.

      Fingers crossed it works.

      Delete
  6. I laughed with (not at) Clo and Calli the other night how humans communicated with hieroglyphics moons and moons ago...along with grunts (sounds with only vowels or only consonants...or in other words acronyms...'aka NOLO"). How we progressed to verbal communication of words with more than a few letters to language as complex as German...on to written formalized language or 'illustrations' - beautiful books turned out by scholars or monks for the very wealthy...to the need for the printing press to allow the masses access to written word, something previously not dreamed of....educating normal people!!! or God forbid, females???!!
    From there we created lovely, handwritten or typed letters for our communication with each other...than came postcards and notes passed in class, then phone calls, to voice mail...then myspace and emails, on to texting, facebook and twitter....back to acronyms and grunts. And here we are...Instagram...virtual hieroglyphics without written words to describe activities.

    We are going backwards.
    t

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting read - cover story article in Time magazine on the "ME Generation"
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2143001,00.html

    ReplyDelete

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