Selfies are dumb. They really are. Every time you take a photo of yourself, it’s stupid. I know for a fact, because I’ve taken pictures of myself. They always look dumb. The reason selfies look so dumb is because you can’t really take a decent photo of a person at sub-arm’s length.
But whatever, right? Everyone takes pictures of themselves now, so it’s not really that big of a deal. Yes, 100% of all selfies ever taken are terrible. But they’re here to stay. So as awful as literally every single selfie is, there is an increasingly large subset of selfies that are even more terrible. Those are the “candid” selfie.
Somewhere along the way, in the early days of selfism, someone looked at the photo they had just taken of themselves and thought “That looks shitty!” Rather than delete, they tried to improve upon it. It’s too obvious that a selfie is a selfie, and really, selfies are narcissistic as fuck. Who wants to look self-absorbed? Nobody! So this crafty selfier decided to look slightly to the left, as if someone had just said their name. It looked candid! A genuine, fabricated moment was born right then and there. But more than just a moment was born that day, my friends. An entire movement emerged from that one narcissist who pretended someone else was taking the photo.
Now almost every selfie is a game of deception, where the picture taker strikes some sort of pose to make it seem like they aren’t actually taking the photo. In spite of all the clear evidence to the contrary, people will do their best to look surprised, or pensive, or caught up in spontaneous mirth. Anything to make their staged self-photo look like a candid moment, perhaps captured by a friend with a keen eye for “the moment.”
The problem is, these selfies might try to act like candids, but they end up looking even worse than a normal, self-aware self-portrait. It’s insulting to the intelligence of everyone looking at your dumb photo to think that we’re tricked into believing something crazy just happened in whatever direction you’re looking at. You took the photo! Why would you take the photo just as something distracted you? You wouldn’t. You would be distracted.
Someday we’ll have the technology so that tiny drones can fly around us and catch us in moments of spontaneity. The profile picture of the future will no longer have a shoulder at such an angle as to give away the secret of who is taking the photo. Nor will people need to stand in front of their bathroom mirrors and look into their phones to see the reflection of themselves looking into their phones. But until the time such selfiebots populate the very air around us, posing as though the picture you’re taking of yourself is catching you unawares is a practice that needs to stop.