The tag, #SelfieSunday, is seen all over Twitter, Instagram and now even Facebook has decided to step up its game by adding real-time hashtags, linking users to millions of strangers all around the world.
So who sees these pictures besides the people they were intended for? With iPhones and Androids handling about 90 percent of handset sales worldwide, it is no surprise that new applications are constantly being developed, and given firsthand access to smartphone users.
Over the last few years, new smartphone apps have been established which solely require the use of a device’s camera or the pictures stored on said device. You may have some of these downloaded on one of your devices. I know I certainly did.
I recently lost my iPhone, and with that, also lost access to my social media accounts for Snapchat, Vine and my personal favorite, Instagram. Though these apps each have their own specialties, they are all used to share photos and videos to other users within that network.
With so much media to display every second of our lives, it can be hard to resist sharing that one photo of yourself where the lighting is perfect and your hair falls flawlessly.
When you are constantly flooded with selfies on every social networking platform, the temptation to post one of your own becomes only two taps and a caption away.
But what are the boundaries when it comes to posting selfies, and who decides them? After all, once a selfie is uploaded, anyone you have allowed can see it, and maybe others you did not necessarily want to share it with will see it.
Many guys will post obnoxious pictures wearing snapbacks, flexing for the camera, shirtless in front of a mirror, but then again, so will many girls. Girls are notorious for posting selfies posing seductively, wearing little to no clothing and a good amount of makeup.
Both types of selfies are judged as indicators of being vain or distasteful, but why? Are they any different than being shirtless or bikini-clad in pictures while having fun at the beach?
If a guy can post a picture in a skin-tight muscle shirt after a sweaty workout, why is it difficult to accept the same picture from a girl in a sports bra?
Many times, young women will attack men for being desperate when they post positive comments on a racy picture. But when a man posts an equally suggestive photo, many of the same women will fawn and ogle over it.
We are surrounded by this type of culture in 2013, and there shouldn’t be a double standard when it comes to posting selfies. It is not fair for all of society to classify people by the type of pictures they like to share through social media.
It is unacceptable to frown upon a sultry picture from a female but praise a male’s revealing photo as being confident.
There’s nothing wrong with posting a picture of your body, but you must realize what you are unintentionally signing up for. Whether it is made known or not, many people will have comments about your photo, and that cannot be undone just by deleting it afterward.
People should not be afraid of wanting to share a certain photo with their friends, but they should be prepared for judgment as well.
Remember that there is a boundary between your public life and your private life. The minute you choose to cross that line, you cannot blame any negative outcomes on that one picture.
No one should be shamed for what content they choose to share, especially if the photo poses no actual harm to anyone.
That does not mean to start uploading pictures of yourself in your birthday suit, but if you took a particularly risqué picture that you just cannot keep to yourself, remember to compose yourself to handle rude and hurtful comments.
One important thing to consider is that selfies are not and should not be used as a judgment of a person’s character, self-respect or intelligence. Selfies are just pictures that touch only the surface of the person.
You can study a picture but never truly know every angle to that person. It is wrong to assume that people are the sum of their selfies.
I have felt a strange disconnection from the social media world since losing my phone. With my replacement phone incapable of shooting pictures from the front, taking selfies is no longer a regular hobby for me.
There is nothing wrong with taking, sharing or posting pictures of yourself. Just remember that judgment absolutely goes both ways, and think about that before your selfie is sucked into the cyber world.