Oxford Dictionaries has named ‘Selfie‘ the Word Of The Year for 2013. The august organization awarded selfie the honor ahead of “twerk” and “Bitcoin,” amongst others, not because of its newness — it’s been in use since at least 2002 — but because of its rise in popularity in recent times.
This rise to being a legitimate phenomenon is thanks to smartphones, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and photo-sharing apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, the combination of which has made selfies commonplace. But this medium shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there are many things you need to avoid when taking selfies.
Selfies are always going to be posed to a certain extent because you’re taking a shot of yourself and know exactly when the shutter is going to click. However, posing is one thing, pulling a stupid face is quite another.
No one wants to see you pulling a duck face or sparrow face. No one wants to see you sticking your tongue out in tribute to Miley Cyrus. No one wants to see your double chin, your fake shocked expression, or your creepy stalker face. Just be your natural self, not some bizarre, non-funny, comedy version of yourself.
Celebrities are the worst examples of this penchant for revealing flesh. Not a day goes by that Justin Bieber doesn’t post a picture of his naked torso or Kim Kardashian doesn’t post a picture of her shapely behind. But they’re not the only perpetrators of this crime against humanity.
Whether you’re a friend, a family member, or just some random dude or dudette on Instagram; very few people appreciate the level of undress some people insist upon. I say very few, because there is always the odd exception. But please, retain your modesty at all costs because some things should remain private.
The most common form of selfie is that taken with a smartphone in one hand. These are tolerable, assuming the other mistakes listed here are avoided. There is also the timed selfie, which can result in some interesting results. And then there is the reflection selfie, which is a no-no from start to finish.
These are selfies taken using a mirror or other reflective surface, which usually results in the camera or smartphone — or even worse, the tablet or laptop — appearing in shot. These never look good, even when creative types try to pull off some Inception-style shenanigans with multiple reflections happening at once.
A selfie is so-called because it’s meant to be a shot of you. You and only you. Ideally nobody else should appear in the shot, though there is obviously some scope for cutesy pictures of you and your significant other enjoying yourselves.
Your significant other should be as far as it goes though. Which means no crying babies or sulking children, no pets trying to escape to freedom, and, especially, no strangers who have happened to wander into frame as you’re preparing to shoot. They don’t want to be a part of your selfie, so don’t force them to be so.
Each individual has their own idea of a suitable setting for their selfie. It could be relaxing on the sofa, stressing on public transport, or having fun on a rollercoaster. These are all fine, but there are a few places that should be avoided when taking selfies.
Bathrooms are not welcome, and yet for some reason people seem keen on taking selfies in the smallest room in the house. Places of worship should be avoided for obvious reasons, especially if you’re attending a funeral. And worst of all are serious places, such as memorials, cemeteries, and former concentration camps. Have some respect, not only for those around you but for yourself as well.
The Best Solution Of All!
There is one other thing to bear in mind when considering taking a selfie. Which is the option not to take a selfie at all. I know, it’s a tough thing to contemplate, but rest assured that the world will continue turning if you decide not to unleash this veiled vanity on its population.
If you insist on posting endless selfies on the Internet then at least follow these simple rules about what to avoid. Then follow our advice on how to take great selfies. Your friends, family, and followers will all appreciate the extra effort.