Vindication of selfies

Morning light

morning light

Navigating the Internet is unavoidable to find in comments (and sometimes in articles) people against food and cat photographs and selfies. I don’t know how those comments show the commenters themselves as more intelligent people but certainly they appear to be angry.

Making plans...

making plans

There are some arguments that I find inaccurate: “These last generations are narcissist in comparison to the older ones.” Wrong, I remember when kid my family always wanted a memory of special moments to us or be remembered in a specific time of our ages, it was simply way more complicated with film and expensive labs. Actually is still complicated to shot with film cameras.

Waiting to finish the work

waiting to finish the work

Others say “It’s a phenomenon due to social media.” I don’t think so, the most of photographs I take about me aren’t to share, but to control my health and a time ago to share with a lady, but to be the center of a social media, nope. And certainly in some occasion that could be a legitimate reason I guess if the image is important in work or social context. In social media they say it’s correlated with lack of friends but that’s so wrong… I don’t have friends to take pictures of me, I have them to talk or trust, not to be a kind of photographer. I think perhaps that’s a prejudice of Christians, in some way I understand to them a selfie could be a signal of pride and against their principle of humbleness so if another people make the click it’s not going to be felt as vanity or something. I don’t think there is a sin in ourselves, and if a religion says that then it’s negating the oeuvre of the creator of their thoughts for the prejudices of the intermediaries.

I remember in the eighties there were terrorists in my country, they tried to force us to do what they wanted (while their leaders were rich people that didn’t follow their rules). Since then I dislike every person that tries to say to other one how to life his/her own life. My first argument in favor of selfies would be that everybody is free to make what makes them happier -_^

You in this moment

you right now reading this post :D

66 thoughts on “Vindication of selfies

  1. Hallo Francis,

    great photos!

    You opened a very interesting discussion :-)
    From my point of view a “Vindication of selfies” isn’t needed. Everyone should decide if he wants to be published in the net or not.

    “These last generations are narcissist in comparison to the older ones.”
    I share your opinion to that thesis. Easy going increases quantity. But there is a difference: the elder generation didn’t publish the photos. Today we have the change of medium and a bigger range.

    “It’s a phenomenon due to social media.”
    I agree with you only in parts, sorry ;-)
    Sure, as you, I do not share all my photos with the net-community. One thing is, I have too much photos and less time and the other is I don’t want and I’m not allowed to share everything.
    But I think the communities of other social media, organized in open and private groups, act otherwise than we do. Some want to share their life in photos: Himself/Herself in front of river Rhine, in front of the Eiffeltower/Big Ben, in front of…, with the little son/daughter/mother …, decorating the house …etc.
    Others find everything “cool” to share. The net is full of embarrassing photos. Employers use the net to find out if there are some interesting informations about people who want a job.

    When I started to be a virtual person, I was really mindless of the fact that there are photos of me in the net. And the last few days I spent so much time at touristical public places that I couldn’t control how often I was a “victim” of cameras ;-)
    But the last developments in Big Data made me very thoughtful. I’d like to recommend to you a book by Yvonne Hofstetter but unfortunately it’s currently only available in German language.

    “My first argument in favor of selfies would be that everybody is free to make what makes them happier -_^”
    I agree :-) with a little supplement: If it doen’t damage any other person.

    Hope my point of view is not too exotic ;-)

    Best wishes from far away, Francis

    1. Hallo Ulli. Thanks for share your point of views. I have the following commentaries about the several ideas you display:
      “the elder generation didn’t publish the photos” because they hadn’t the tools. Actually people of that generation is posting photos too, just they don’t have the use of the new tools or social media as younger generations. In fact it seems an universal characteristic that older generations liked to show their albums of photographs to visits, so I think perhaps you are considering an impossibility (publishing in the old times) as a will or reason.
      “The net is full of embarrassing photos” certainly but what is embarrassing to one person is normal to others. And as one person has the option to upload photographs the other person can block him/her with the same easiness if subjectively they are seen as embarrassing photographs.
      Actually I’d love a law to refrain employers to interfere with private life, or in any case that they give up their own private life.
      Oh, well. You already know that there is a cultural and legal difference in our point of views about photography in public spaces, in Peru photography is allowed in public places without permission, except if you are a professional photographer perhaps so you need permission to sell a photograph, I’m not a professional nor I sell photographs, and actually the opinion is that if photography in public spaces would be forbidden then we would be in a kind of dictatorship, besides we have to have a good behavior in streets because it’s public. I understand in Germany it’s quite different and I respect that but it seems to me that the difference is not ethical but cultural.
      I’d love a explanation when you say ” If it doen’t damage any other person.” It seems a bit peculiar taking in account that by definition a selfie is just about oneself and not another person.
      Yes, Ulli. In parts your point of view is exotic, it’s inevitable because to me you are from a different reality with different traditions, race and language :-)
      Hoping all’s right and happy you are honest with your ideas.

  2. Hallo Francis,
    thank you for your detailed answer ☺

    Yes, you’re right. The elder generation didn’t have the tools. That’s what I meant with medium and range has changed. The analog-photography was more expensive and people thought it over what was worth to take a photo. And they took a lot of photos of themselfes. They didn’t have to decide if they would publish something in the net. They decided concret who could see the photos – as we do with our not published photos. And it’s speculative to say what they would have done.

    The net is full of …
    I don’t think about the grey area of embarrassing photos. I mean really horrible photos of people in a bad condition (for example badly drunken). Most photos were taken on parties and the relevant people didn’t know that. Sure, you can delete photos and block accesses, but the internet doesn’t forget anything and before you removed it lot’s of peolple had seen it.

    In Germany employer are not allowed to check your private life, but it’s not forbidden to have a look in the internet ;-)

    I like to sit in a street café watching people. And I often see people taken selfies without respecting, that other people are directly nearby. In a scramble it’s nearly impossible to get a selfie of your own and the tourist feature without another face.

    You are fair in your action but there are others who aren’t .
    I’m sure, there is a big difference in our culture, but not only. I think also because of the spread of internet we have very different experiences in our environment

    I can follow your arguments and I can accept different meanings – that makes Life livable, otherwise we wouldn’t have such an interesting discussion :-)

    Yes, everthing is allright and I’m happy – thank you for asking ☺ I hope the same to you.
    Actually we just have a few days Golden October with night frost and day temperatures about 20°C. Unfortunatly I have to work when the sun is shining and in the early evening it’s dark – since the weekend we have wintertime.

    Have a great evening, Francis.
    Best wishes

    1. … and before photography just painters could make self-portraits. Every time we walk we are recorder by cameras. I think it’s part of modern life.
      In Peru perhaps we are quite liberal in comparison to Germany, being drunken is just part of life and crowded cities as well, I think you would be frightened to see what happens in the Peruvian daily life. Said that we love and admire Germany as is one of the countries we would like to be similar, but right know we are quite different; Germany is far advanced in comparison to Peru so naturally the internet is more widely spread in your country because the high quality of life, instead in Peru a big percentage of population has a major concern to have some day access to a road, electricity and water. I know because part of my life was like that.
      I think the longest conversations I had have in WordPress is with German bloggers, that’s quite interesting, it seems you have a culture of thought.
      20º is a nice temperature, glad you are having a golden season :-) If you are going to change to winter then we are going to enter to summer…
      Take care, Ulli, Thanks for your visit.
      Kind regards,

      1. … back to the painters ;-)

        I don’t want to assess who is more liberal or tolerant. For this purpose I lack too much knowledge.
        I don’t know if I were frightened to see what happens in the Peruvian daily life, but I know many people thought Germany is the paradise and they didn’t find it when they arrived. –

        By comparing the internet user, I did not want to open the discussion, why the number is different. I just wanted to demonstrate that the internet is a mirror of society. The probability that you are a representative user of Peru is high, but the probability that I’ m representative for Germany is very low.
        So, if that would be true, statistically, the Peruvian user is a very disciplinated and polite internetuser, Francis.

        I see the discussion in a foreign language is more difficult than I thought, especially if you do not know the interlocutor and you can’t see his gestures and facial expressions in conversation.

        Maybe we have a culture of thoughts …
        But what do you expect, when you post such a long personal and thoughtful text? No reaction?
        I think the text, and particularly the person behind it, deserve to get a reaction.

        Something quite different: A comparison between the Germans, the Dutch and the French :-)
        If a German buys a sailboat he will improve and polish it,
        If a Dutchman buys a sailboat he will live on it and
        If a Frenchman buys a sailboat he will sail it ;-)

        Yes, our weather is quiet nice these days and maybe it will be a nice weekend. Mostly in November we have a short first cold snap. Mostly after Christmas the winter starts. But where I live we seldom have a real good winter with snow and frozen lakes.
        I like our four seasons because it’s a real good circle of life: time of beginning, time of action, time of reflection and time to relax.
        So you are in the phase of beginning :-)

        Well, have a good start in a new day, Francis. I’m really glad I met you.
        Best wishes,

      2. I am part of a minory in Peru, I’m a native so I don’t share language (I use Spanish just due education) religion (I’m not Christian) nor culture (I’m not latino, I don’t like salsa, tropical fashions, beer, excessive physical touch, etcetera) so I can assure you that I’m far to be representative of Peru, but certainly my previous contact with German citizens show me that in some way I already know you.
        “But what do you expect, when you post such a long personal and thoughtful text?” This is to me a kind of diary of thoughts, certainly the main goal is not to make a magazine to get readers, even without readers (as it was in the beginning) my publications will continue, so, and I say it with the uttermost respect, I don’t expect any reaction. In any case my declaration was an observation: usually German visitors are the more thoughtfully passionate and usually I notice a way to read different to visitors of other countries. Readers, for example, from USA have a trend to see the adventurous side in my opinion. I respect, and in the case of you and the German visitors, I admire those qualities.
        haha, the joke about the sailboat is quite clear and funny. In Peru I guess the sailboat would end rotten becauser there wouldn’t be nobody capable to fix it, everybody would fill pity to live on it so it would be abandoned and as almost nobody has dreams then nobody would navigate it… but yes, we all would be complaining that the sailboat is abandoned and somebody should do anything.
        I’ll ask to the kind readership their thoughts about street photography, I know yours and although I understand your reasons I don’t agree with them, at least not in my reality, in Germany I would respect instead the stablished traditions and laws. But as my readership lives mostly in the Northern Hemisphere I’m going to ask about their laws so what I show is according to what their respective countries order in reference to privacy in public spaces.
        Spring in Peru doesn’t mean much actually, always there is a place with snow and another with hot sands. Andes complicate the climate in complex ways here…
        Hoping you are having a nice new day, Ulli.
        Take care andthanks for your kind words :-)

  3. you look like a thinking man Francis:) a scholar perhaps… i did a 52 week of selfies on flickr as an assignment ..mostly for myself, to get use to the camera, and to try an figure out what others feel when your snapping away, at them. it helped me a great deal, now i know what others see, and it has taught me to smile more:) thanks for sharing Francis

  4. I especially like the light and shade in the first shot, you look like an international man of mystery. And you were right I WAS sitting at the computer with my chin in my hand :D I hate selfies of me, but don’t mind anyone else’s, lately I’ve tried a little to take some, but I hate them all – I never look as bad in the mirror!!! :D

    1. Haha, I knew it! about your chin in your hand :P
      I love so much intense light with deep shadows. That morning I was intending to go to Chile but I felt so tired so I decided to pack and go to the highlands.
      I remember a pair of your selfies, one recently in your blog (well,.now you have two) and the other in your Smugmug account with, if I’m not wrong, your faithful Nikon.

    1. I’m bad for smiles XP!!!! I try but I’m harder than Pinocchio D:
      Nice to see one of the most beautiful ladies in this world. Thanks for your visit, hadorable, I know it’s not a selfie but I adore your portrait with a flower in your lips :-)

      1. I dont have my comment for this topic, im kind of free people and I do what ever I want to ^^, but happy to see you here!! I havent seen you since I met you here in wp:)

      2. Honored you remember :-) You are one of the first persons I followed here and it’s strange to think that it’s already more than a year… Well, right now I’m with a smile. Thank you for that ;-)

      3. Yes, oh wow how fast time flies, thank you for always cheering and keeping my mood for blogging

  5. I don’t think of the selfie as being narcissistic, just as long as you’re not posting them all day everyday. I know women who do that on Facebook and I know why the do it. The reason is a bit pathetic.
    I’m curious as to what you mean when you write that selfies help you to “control your health”. Do you mean that you’re showing your friends that you’re okay?
    It’s great to see some photos of you on your blog! Even when you look bored, you look quite handsome :)
    Abrazos y besos!

    1. I take pictures to myself, to see if I’m caring of my weight or if the clothes fit me well so they don’t make me look like MC Hammer :P
      Oh, thank you, you look gorgeous ^_^
      Abrazososos y besosos de oso meloso :-)

      1. Yo también te extraño y pienso en ti Melissa. Espero que podamos tener tiempo para conversar este fin de semana y que todo esté bien por allá :-)

      2. Ahhh! Fantastico! Sabado, voy a visitar mi amiga, pero domingo está bien. Si tienes tiempo libre, podemos conversar :)
        Todo está bien por aca!
        Que tengas una buena noche :)

  6. Hello Francis :) Nice to see you finally.. (You almost look like an Indian.. er.. I mean, from over here hahaa) Thank you for this candid post. A little different from your usual “safe” posts :D

    1. haha, yes, our races are similar! (of course I know there are several races in India :P) if I get angry is because Indian here is used, respect us, not in reference to the nation with fabulous history and culture but to a certain prejudice of our race.

      Ha! that “finally” sounds like I would post photos with bags in my face before XD, I have some photos in previous publications… Thanks for your visit, Tejaswi.

      1. Blame it on history.. when Columbus decided he had discovered the “Indies” then all those who followed made the original people there Indians.. hehe.. (And come to think of it, not so far-fetched either.. if you consider the genetic link… and how the hell do you “discover” something that already existed??? Western conceit)..

        “Finally” because I had never seen you before :) Hope you are well, Francis… nice post :)

      2. People knows well the history. Spaniards came and called us Indians, and they went but people that consider themselves westerners considered that Indian was a term adequate to treat us as servants (as treated us Spaniards), not related with your country, just a question of society here.
        But I find quite funny that I wrote with capitals “I’m not an indian” but in reality I look like an Indian XD also I could make the native of Pakistan perhaps :P
        Of course the true meaning of the discovering is the discovering by the first European. Honestly I had forgotten the date, nobody celebrate the “discovering” here. I understand in Spain there are parades and everything D:
        Thank you, Tejaswi for your kind visit.

      3. You know what the irony may be? I do not have enough data to say this, but I do believe that for all his fierce dedication to the empire and the church, the funny thing is he could be a Sephardic jew. What irony, if it could be proved. Cristobal Colon was how he was addressed in the Papal writ permitting him to travel and “discover” new lands. There is no fanatic like a convert, probably. Still, the supreme irony in conquering lands in the name of the church and state, only to find that the person who led it was not really of the faith.. hahaha..
        I came across that when I was researching the Sephardic Jews for my book (oh, never going to be written.. for sure)..

        And no, you would not be mistaken for a Pakistani :) unless you were from the hills closer to Afghanistan with its rich Uzbek, Tazhik and Azerbaijan influence (the features I mean.. even in our North-east here, people have Mongoloid features, bad enough that our own countrymen call them “Chinky” but they are often mistaken for foreigners (Chinese) sadly.. and by the way, my own daughter’s name translates to “North Eastern”.. eh.. a good niece for you haha)..
        Take care, Francis

      4. “North Eastern” sounds quite beautiful, like “a dolce color d’oriental zaffiro” the taste of the East in it, sunrises…
        It’s probable, several Jews and Muslims had to change to Christianity to avoud the expulsion from Spain after they recovered their lands (although to me the land is something you can love and appreciate but no really something you can own) so they came to Peru, but they remained in Christianity, I guess because the same reason the poor Jews that remained in Israel after Rome simply changed to Muslims because it was easier to avoid taxes. In the case of here the white people had the Holy Inquisition so they were watched in their believings. Fortunately the Inquisition wasn’t allowed to us :P

    1. Bien mélanita, gracias ^_^, la vida aquí no es muy alegre… Here there is wise people that works reading the eyes, you have such ability… I am always discovering new things about you.

  7. Starting today, the voice has a face! I remember seven months ago, I discovered you, on Melanie’s blog. I visited your blog and I noticed the blue sky which appear frequently, but I’ve seen pictures of you. Your physiognomy inspires kindness and intelligence that determined me to click “follow” without hesitation. The seven months that have passed, have proven that I did not wrong. I knew from the first contact how you look. This made me to be more confident. In this moment I can say, that I consider you, my best friend in the blogosphere. My only regret is that I not have enough time and skills of English, for talk more. I can tell you a lot about Europe and you have much to say about the area where you live. For example, I read your conversation with Ulli from Germany. I noted that you are a admirer of German society and German culture. Regarding German culture, it is essential in the evolution of Europe over the last 400 years. Regarding modern German society, is not all perfect. I know Germany and I can tell you that there are some problems, that they are trying to outsource them, through a policy which promotes at the European Union level. At the moment, there is not a pride to be German, in Europe. From what I managed to know about you, I do not think that you’d like to live, in a German metropolis. Maybe someday I’ll have time to get you and some arguments. Every year I spend my holidays, in hotels from Europe, surrounded by citizens from all European countries. There are occasions when can make comparisons and understand social level in different parts of Europe. In the last 20 years in Europe appeared complex mechanisms (as migration, liberalization of borders, expansion of multinational corporations for cheap labor force, USA strategic interests,…) that have changed values and hierarchies. From my point of view Germany remains the main economic force in the European community, but sacrificed his morality, for this purpose.

    1. Sounds like something complex is happening wright now in Europe. I like the places with high activity in culture, but also now I appreciate soul. For that my interest in visit Berlin for example.
      Said that of course one thing are what is imagined and other the reality. The Germany of the reality sure have a lot of probems, but the imagined Germany certainly is a bright light to us.
      Thanks you very much for your kindness and openess toward me, Dan. I feel quite honored, I’d like to have more time as well. Time will tell.
      Take care so much,

  8. There’s a phrase, in French, that I’ve carried with me ever since I heard it, a long time ago… it has served me as much to cultivate inner freedom as to cultivate absence of prejudice… that phrase is “la liberté qu’on accorde aux autres, on se l’accorde à soi-même”… Without giving too much thought, I would translate it this way : Whatever freedom we allow others, we allow ourselves…

    1. Inner freedom… I already knew you have wings :-)
      I’d love we had a similar expression to follow, but perhaps we negates our own liberties, a false comfort instead of liberty probably. Thank you for your kindness, Caroline.

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