Let’s Talk About Selfies

Today I would like to propose an apparently “light” topic, but perhaps it affects many in terms of our privacy, and it is a trend (I call it a craze!) Of the modern world.

One of the cornerstones of our society sadly clinging to the present is the selfie. The question is: is it legitimate to put group photos on social media? Or also: is it possible to avoid selfies in the company?

When you see someone immortalizing a group image with a mobile phone, or making a film about several people, without notifying all those present, one can instinctively think of a gesture of subtle violence. That is, to the evident and aggressive subtraction of a right: that of not appearing, of not being reduced to the appearance of a mandatory home-made fiction. Not everyone has the presence of mind and the strength to escape the group selfie, to protest because their privacy is violated. Because we know it well, within a few minutes (even seconds) those images go around the world on various networks.

We live in a media society, but we must be able to remain absolute and undisputed masters of ourselves, even of the virtual image that can appear on social media. Indeed, I would say that today a frame on the Net is enough to modify the perception that others have of us. The moment it happens, our identity is in question. For this reason (or for a thousand reasons) it is a duty not to force others to appear on our personal show.

The other side of the coin is the consideration that the life of a selfie usually lasts a few moments. The selfie is pure present. If you are in company and someone says “let’s take a selfie”, that someone, half a second later, is sending it to other friends who will watch it and then put it back somewhere. And this also applies to the sender, who in the intervening time between taking the selfie and sending it will already be forgotten. Suffice it to say that for at least 15 years we have been shooting with a camera in a pocket disguised as a mobile phone yet it is rare that we have our photos.

After all, the selfie photographs a moment that, in the minds of those who propose and shoot it, is cloaked in happiness. Perhaps it will be the happiness of an instant. But it is always happiness. Why deprive yourself of it and refuse it?

The selfie is then a kind of ghost that sometimes comes back to life. It happens when we change the phone and someone routes us to that boring data backup practice, with photos to be transferred from the old to the new. It is there, in that moment of time and space, that the sum of hundreds of instants comes back to life – as many as the selfies – of the old present become the past. Moments of old happiness of gone time. So let’s say: let’s take these selfies. Today they seem useless, or even intrusive of our privacy, But tomorrow maybe not!

What do you think?

Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.
avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Eileen Bild

Good morning Aldo! Ahhh…the selfie. Yes, they are moments in time capturing a memory. For the individual it is fun, exciting and ways to share their life experiences. As you mention, really no different than using the old fashioned camera, only we get instant images and gratification. Acquiring life’s journey through selfies can show a lot about a person, what is important to them, spreading good cheer and expressing one’s personality. Not sure the next stage of evolution, but regardless of the tool, we will forever be wanting to capture those times in life that we can look back on, reminisce and feel good about.

Jeff Ikler
Jeff Ikler

Aldo — Two thoughts here. (1) I think the experience is misnamed at least in my case. I never – well, rarely – take a “selfie,” meaning just me. Instead my wife and I are religious documentarians of our travels. Our “weies” capture that we were “here” enjoying ourselves together – “Moments of old happiness of gone time.” (2) There is a time and a place for a selfie, or an weies. For example, I am forever disgusted that people would think it appropriate to take such a picture at the 9/11 memorial at ground zero in NYC. Is a smiling shot in front of the names of the deceased and the reflecting pool really the right place? Seriously?

Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.

Thanks for sharing this piece, Aldo. I had to chuckle because I posted a Neuro Nugget about the idea of posting photos/videos of other people without permission a while back. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/V5J2x6BhmEM

You raise some great points here. Welcome to BizCatalyst! I’m eager to learn more from you!

Noemi Zarb

Showing respect is becoming harder and rarer in today’s world which is why many people do not think twice about taking photos of others without permission and then going viral. As for selfies, while I am not into them at all, I fully understand the urge to capture a meaningful moment. I also think that there is a massive difference between wanting to capture a meaningful moment that will be cherished as time goes by and the obsessive selfie smacking of narcism. While the latter is only to be expected among adolescents, it’s cringing among adults since it imparts truckloads of insecurity and emotional void/trauma.

JUST ONE CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR DAILY DOSE

REAL PEOPLE

Powerful voices from around the globe that speak to our shared human experience. May they inspire you and give you great hope.

JUST 1 CLICK

IS ALL IT TAKES TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW TODAY

Must Read

JUST 1 CLICK

IS ALL IT TAKES TO BEGIN ENJOYING OUR PODCASTS

JUST 1 CLICK

IS ALL IT TAKES TO EXPLORE OUR INSPIRING GLOBAL COMMUNITIES