The Curse Of The Selfie

There is a curse that my generation has been handed.
And it’s more than likely staring at you right now.
Like literally. Staring at you non stop.
You feel like you control it.
But it actually controls you.

It’s that eye at the top of your laptop screen.
It’s that self facing lens on your iPhone or Android.

You see for most of the life of a camera, the only glass that would face you was the viewfinder to see what is on the OTHER side of the glass.
But now?
You are the subject of your own lens.
And in theory this should be a fantastic thing.
Albeit for social media.

You see what I have learned in my own life is, the seasons where my Instagram feed is filled with more than 50% selfies (I can’t believe I just typed that word), I’m searching for significance.
And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I mean when you see a picture of yourself, it is only human nature to want others to see it, and in our new world of instant feedback, tell you how beautiful you are.
This isn’t bad.
But when my feed begins to fill up with my own face more than the faces around me…
It says something.

I went through a phase where almost EVERYDAY I would take a selfie.
Then post it.
Then wait for people to tell me things.
Nice things.

I mean seriously? THIS WAS 1 MONTH IN 2011!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHA
I swear I apologize for that season if you were on my Instagram feed.
Jesus come quickly.
Yet in that season I was DESPERATELY searching for significance.

I think everyones #Desperate level is different.
For some it is dangerous.
For others it is not.
But you need to weigh your reasons…

All the same we are searching for something in selfies that we won’t ever be able to find in the likes and comments of others.
That is our identity in Christ.
Every man, woman, boy and girl is desperately trying to find it.
Even if they don’t know it.
But they won’t find it in their LCD screen.
They will only find it when they turn the lens back to where it is supposed to be satisfied in the words of Christ alone…

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

See. Even Christ Himself knew that His Vine app is the only one that matters.
What are your thoughts of selfies and our self esteem?

Oh. And PS.
I’m currently doing Crossfit and I’m just sayin…
The day I see an ab, or 1/2 an ab, I’m posting that badboy.


Author loswhit

More posts by loswhit
  • Something occurred to me recently.
    Whose face do we see most often on Facebook? Our own. It’s staring at us, at the bottom of every single post in our feed, waiting for us to comment – essentially to put our selfie on someone else’s timeline.
    Don’t worry – selfies come in lots of forms. Everyone’s looking for significance, and most of the forms that search takes are ultimately pretty insignificant.

    • Amy Hunt

      yep. I’m with Matt here. We’ve all got it in some form. It keeps us all connected to each other in humbleness, realizing no one is any better than another.

  • Emily Miller

    I have been struggling with this for a long time. Looking for significance and validation from others. Thank you for this post, Los.

  • KF

    the selfie has become a photo addition of the validation we all desire and seek from others, but it’s not new. Social media has just made this need for validation explode into a subtle and ok form of narcissism. (one of those, “everyone else is doing it… so…”)
    We desire to be loved, heard and understood. and the best part of social media is we can control the “me” others see.
    But you hit at it Los. God is the only one that matters, but I fear until we actually spend more time with Him and less looking at social media, that lens wil remain turned to us.

  • tayholder

    Very, very good. I’ve noticed that during the seasons that I am dealing with insecurity, I post on social media way more often. Not just selfies, though- wit, rants, bible verses, etc, you name it. Here’s something to think about: People have been handing their cameras over for years to have other people take their “selfies” for them. This is a lot more socially acceptable. So hand over your camera, and grab a friend, and no one will jugdge you!! // (I kid) (Mostly)

  • Blake Forman

    I was at Passion City Church last weekend and LG spend some time on the ‘selfie’ and being ‘in Christ’. If you have some time, check it out!

  • ~abi~

    so, i have a lot of thoughts on “selfies”, a few of which i will share here. 🙂 i am 32, never been married, never had any kids. i love Jesus. i love clothes and cute guys and kids and animals, etc. i live with my sister, who doesn’t allow me to have a pet. {before you start to worry about me too much, you should know i am seeing a therapist. :)}. i post scriptures and song lyrics and #ootd {outfits of the day} and food…and selfies. i work in an office by myself. i am a photographer. i love taking photos. but i am with myself all the time. so i take photos of myself. usually of my outfits, but still, of me. if i had a husband or kids or a pet, i would post photos of them all.the.time. but i don’t. yet. so for now, i post photos of me. i’m not justifying, i’m explaining. 🙂 i’m not always seeking validation or compliments {although sometimes i am}, sometimes i am just bored or just wanting to take a photo. 🙂

  • brody

    I think that was the same month I wrote this.

  • Nick

    I just deleted my Instagram account because I was tired of caring too much about what other people where doing, and caring too much about people seeing what I was doing. I decided to just live my life, in the moment, and enjoy it without feeling the need to show everyone else. Plus I got tired of seeing my hipster friends pretending to be outdoorsy. I’m not some old guy that hates technology. I’m in my twenties and love technology, but realized that social media was becoming an idol and that idol needed to be killed. Selfies need to be killed too.

  • Julia

    I have a hard enough time with eye contact.. I don’t do the selfie but I can admit to looking for validation through my words. It makes me sad to see so many pics of one face.. one or two here and there is fine.. I can deal with that.. but when there are endless posts, it makes me sad.

  • nicholas casey

    In my mind, selfies serve one purpose only. Profile pictures.

  • Me.eliz

    I guess i would have to admit that i am guilty of posting “selfies” to instagram/facebook, although i wouldnt call them that because it was usually me and my wife somewhere (ie at disney world, at a festival of christmas lights, on a mountain skiing). And my intent wasnt really to gain attention to me but more to let my extended family and friends see what im up to. I feel like “selfie sunday” and all the other “selfies” out there are typically a cry for attention and approval. As a youth director i see my students posting selfies all the time, but its not all of them. Its typically the ones who tend to need more attention and are posing for pictures simply to get a response. I know its a bit of a pesimistic view, but i think selfies are very much a product of our selfish, narcisistic society and culture. That may not alwYs be the case, but i think if people were honest we’d find that that was the case more often than not… Just my thoughts…

    • Jana

      I’ve never really considered pictures you take of yourself with a spouse, family member, or friend a selfie. I just see it as documenting whatever is going on (: So…I don’t think there’s any reason to feel bad about that…especially if you don’t have bad intentions.

      I have friends that occasionally post selfies of their outfits or something like that…and that doesn’t really bother me too much. What bothers me is when people are posting them every day…several at a time. That’s almost always going to be a cry for attention. I definitely agree with you and think that these types of selfies are a product of a narcissistic culture.

  • Pingback: Friday Fuel: What I Read, Learned and Loved This Week | The Church of No People()

  • Pingback: Desperate to Be Heard | the Fertility Pickle()

  • Pingback: Gay Parks, Being Propositioned, And How God Showed Up Next To A Gay Man And I This Morning | Ragamuffin Soul()