The Selfie Moment

It’s an odd feeling I get when I see people taking selfies, especially outside. It’s like they are logging into another reality. One that is truer, more permanent, and full of potential. Truer because I can quantify my popularity, through likes, or tweets. Permanent because a photo is much like a frozen moment in time. Potential because this photo may reach millions and become viral. The combination of these three things results in an intensification of the selfie moment in reality. An event may have just taken place that others may also participate in.

It’s strange. It’s as if people are living their lives and making decisions based on how the internet will receive their performance.

About JoeL

I completed a Master of Music degree from McGill University. I am currently working towards an Artist Diploma also at McGill. I like to do philosophy as a hobby.

3 thoughts on “The Selfie Moment

  1. I feel that I lot has been written on the performative nature of taking and producing a selfie. But what is also interesting is the argument that selfies that are posted and shared through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, or Google, can be thought of as forms of affective labor—that is, emotional work that goes uncompensated. In particular, it’s interesting to consider the Tumblr platform, which often serves as a space for women, queer people, and people of color to post selfies as a form of social empowerment, by increasing their visibility in mainstream media. Yet, by that same token, by using these services to share images, the selfies also generate capital for social media websites. As digital artist Jennifer Chan has argued, “Anything that requires feeling or produces feeling in someone else can be considered work in a networked environment. In basic terms, childcare, acting, and teaching are examples of emotional, affective labor. With selfies, it’s overlooked as labor because it’s so abundant or ‘low-brow,’ but posting and socializing is what media-sharing websites like Facebook capitalize on.”

    What can we make of the performance/labor of producing a selfie and the capital that is generated from that labor?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, this good.

    The presence of minorities on mainstream media is good and important to push against normativity.

    As far as the capital generated by that emotional (and physical) labor, I would say that individual practices (like selfies) that escape the grasp of exploitation by capitalism are difficult to find. And even if we do find them, there is no guarantee that they will remain productive as anti-capitalist. However, there are important things, like constituting the identities of minorities by the minorities themselves against the dominant group, that should be done whether or not it is directly exploitable. If these kinds of practices can be perhaps be revolutionary as well if they are coupled with other similar acts and the unifying of a front.

    Like

  3. It would be cool to combine this post with mine on disciplined inattentiveness. I think they could complement and flesh each other out in interesting ways.

    Truer, permanent, and more potential: I like that a lot. Nice analysis.

    Like

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