Break your selfie

Is the ubiquitous selfie artistic expression or narcissistic expression (hint: It might be time to break your selfie addiction)? Lucie Foundation’s Photographer of the Year, Sandro, puts his lens to work to reshape our selfie culture, and the results are all kinds of beautiful.

Once smartphones came equipped with cameras that face backward to the user, social media transformed seemingly overnight, ushering in our glossy selfie culture. Almost a third of all photos taken by people aged 18-24: selfies. The most retweeted message in history: selfie. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013: Yep, sel·fie. [1][2]

Currently, 93 million selfies are taken daily. It’s a statistic that bears repeating. Each and every day, 93 million times, someone purses their lips, invariably tilts their head downward, roughly 11 degrees, and clicks, consciously intent on projecting a very specific image of their gorgeous, desirable life. [3][4]
Sharing affirming selfies can drum up feelings of empowerment, but they can also reinforce society’s obsession with appearances. At their worst, selfies can program us to fixate on our looks and judge ourselves on the basis of physical attractiveness rather than our accomplishments. Moreover, they may change how our friends see us. A recent psychological study suggests that the more selfies you post on social media, the more likely you are to alienate your friends and become less likeable. [5]

Fortunately there’s a remedy for this selfie insanity: Stop taking 93 million selfies every day.

It’s time to break our selfies. To challenge ourselves and the digital soul-stealers affixed to the end of our extended arms to capture less-plastic, more-human expressions of who we really are.

It means capturing you and your life with fewer filters. With visible blemishes. A gnarly scar. No more cropping out the gritty fringe details – because that’s usually where the good stuff lives. And that goes for all of us – guys, we know that you are twice as likely as the ladies to manipulate your photos. [6]

And while we’re at it, we could probably all stand to be not-so-snap-happy, with a little less priority on documenting our experiences and a little more focus on living them.

It means less emphasis on the final glossy outcome – the abs, the derriere, the tris­– and more celebration of the assets that pushed us there – the heart, the soul, the twisted mouth leaking the guttural yowl.
It means no more head-tilting, duck-facing or doe-eyeing. And it means seeing more of your fire, your depth, your failures, your humbleness. It means full recognition that there is no auto-enhance button in life; but rather, that reaching our potential takes work. Agonizing, painstaking, glorious work.

It means capturing something real, honest. Something more. Something human. Something more human.

Let’s see what you’ve got. Let’s see you pushed to your boundaries. Let’s see you downright tribal, primal, defeated and fetal. And then, let’s see you again, 60 seconds later, when you know there’s more. When you rise back up on your feet and chase it all over again. Let’s see you beautiful. Let’s see you #breakyourselfies.

Check out your human score here:

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