What’s Wrong With This Selfie?

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.

I like Google, even though they’re certainly not perfect. They have a tendency to mislead and overwhelm, as well as an inordinately high tolerance for crap. Despite this, they’re damn useful.

Google also provides other services. Today, you could lead a Google life. That is, if you don’t happen to have one of your own, or if you’re seeking a technology-based meaning to life—a digital guru in the cloud who didn’t have to study yoga or climb an actual mountain in the Himalayas.

Google’s Official Blog was referenced in today’s news. Specifically mentioned, a milestone for Google Photos, a service that allows you to organize and access all of your photos from the many devices that you might own; no doubt, a service appreciated by photo hobbyists and those with a scrolling fetish.


One bizarrely interesting comment caught my attention:

And in just a year, 200 million of you have…taken 24 billion selfies.

24 BILLION selfies in one year!

For the record, there is no truth to the rumor that half of these were taken by one aspiring fashion model from Lubbock, TX.

Now, let’s do a little math.

24 billion / 200 million users = 120 selfies per user
365 / 120 = 1 selfie every three days

In fairness, a new self-portrait every three days may just be a love affair.

However, having never taken a selfie, I have to wonder what is the fascination with posting one’s own likeness on the cloud? It’s fair to ask:

  1. Does a user recall these photos on mobile devices when they forget who they are and what they look like?
  2. If not, what is the purpose?
  3. Are most selfies at all interesting…to other people?
  4. In the majority of photos, is the subject’s underwear clean?

Okay, that last one may not be entirely fair. Chances are a few of these selfies are not what is traditionally called a boudoir photo, and sexting is only popular 24/7.

Photo captions are another organization worry. This enormous output must cause a strain to avoid repetition. After all, how many synonyms are there for braless?

Naturally, we must also consider the mundane. Some people may simply want to document their participation in a once-in-a-lifetime event, such as dancing at the funeral of your exes divorce lawyer.

Still, 120 selfies per year smacks a bit of narcissism.

Consider old-school portrait photos: It was a burdensome and entirely frivolous family event. Everyone, down to the smallest child, was dressed in their Sunday best. Dad drove the clan down to Sears where they offered an exceptionally good sale on a Portrait Package that mom would not let him pass up under penalty of burnt dinners and sexual deprivation
(See: Marriage, normal).

“Smile,” said the photographer.


Then, the salesperson pitches, “Upgrade to our Deluxe Package and we’ll include 264,000 wallet photos that you can use to annoy friends, relatives and complete strangers.”

With mom laundering the appropriate clothing for everyone, last minute haircuts, soiled clothing swaps, shoe shines, and pestering dad until he admits that in his old age he may like to remember what his children looked like when they were still speaking to him…
TOTAL ELAPSED TIME: Approximately 4 to 8 hours.

Compare to the average adult selfie today:

Cover image: "Sexual Evolution"Charge phone. Search for a teenager who uses more English than unintelligible slang and is willing to explain how to take a picture on your iPhone. Negotiate price. Stop at the store and purchase a large bag of chips to keep the teen from eating everything in your refrigerator. Restrain yourself from commenting on his\her hygiene\fashion sense\haircut\indolence. Write down the pertinent directions on a notepad. Force a smile when the teen laughs and corrects your inevitable misunderstandings. Take a few test shots of the dog. When finally satisfied, push the teen out the nearest door. Mix appropriately strong cocktails. Drink until a selfie seems like a good idea. Pick a pose that doesn’t irritate your arthritis. Take your selfie and get redressed…
CURRENT TOTAL ELAPSED TIME: Approximately 4 to 8 hours plus 6 months hiding ashamedly in your house to avoid everyone who might have seen the pic.

Obviously, selfies are NOT a significant savings of time or money. Some milestone there, Google!

Parting Funny: My mom was a ventriloquist and she always was throwing her voice. For ten years I thought the dog was telling me to kill my father.Wendy Liebman
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