Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Anti-Selfie

One thing I consciously decided to do when I first started this blog was to never post public pictures of myself. There were a couple of reasons for this. One being a tradition that goes back to the days of bulletin board systems (BBS) and the early days of the internet that you were not supposed to do that due to a person wanting to keep their anonymity. In those days, you were expected to use an alias and not go by your real name for a reason. Part of that was to protect yourself from the potential criminal behavior of others. Now we have gone in the complete opposite in that not only is your name and face out there for anyone to see, but where you live, cars you own, etc. In other words, it’s an open invitation for all sorts of creepy criminal behavior out there.

The real reason I don’t like to post pictures of myself is not so much for the reason I just mentioned, but for a more artistic one. I wanted the focus of this blog to be on what is out there in the world and not myself. I want you to see that mountain, that rock formation, that forest, that animal, that movie location, or whatever piece of scenery I was showing without me being in the picture. I like the idea of giving the 1st person perspective pictures (and video) to at least give an attempt to show you what it would be like if you were where I was standing.

Years ago I used to mention how a person on a site I was on was constantly posting nature pictures, but with her face in a good portion of them. It was kind of annoying because it was almost like someone standing up in front of the television during a crucial scene. I wanted to see the beautiful scenery, or check the snow level conditions, and her big mug would be in them. The whole thing came across as, “Just look at me!” A little too narcissistic and trying to get attention in a way that the site was not really designed for. In fairness, she stopped doing a lot of that so I stopped saying much about it on here.

That was really before social media sites took off. What I was just talking about was the tip of the iceberg because now everyone is taking pictures of themselves constantly. Just last week I was walking along somewhere and I passed a family. The father said to everyone, “Time to take a selfie!” He proceeded to pull out the selfie stick and the family bent down for a picture.

My worst experiences with this sort of thing are when I am trying to take a picture of an animal at a zoo or aquarium. People will start jamming others to get as close as possible with their backs to the animal. Naturally, they are assuming the animal will cooperate which is a story in itself.

I understand the need people have for family pictures. I also understand the need to show those pictures to other family members and friends. However, I think we are overdoing it on this one. I feel sorry for people on sites like Instagram because all they know how to do is take self-portraits.

For all practical purposes, this site is anti-selfie. It has always been this way, and I intend to keep it that way. 

Btw, did you see the pictures above? Notice I didn’t pose in front of the camera for them? ;)