I read it in an article yesterday. Here’s the title:
First of all, YES. PLEASE STOP.
Second of all, selfie? Really?
This is, at once, both horrifying and understandable. Horrifying because cameras were initially invented to take pictures of other things and other people. Certainly, there was the occasional self-portrait to mark a momentous occasion, or to give to someone special, but for the most part, the lens was outward-facing, taking in the world beyond and capturing it as it was, in that moment, for all posterity.
But it’s also sadly understandable. We are a society that is increasingly self-centered, self-focused, self-preserving, and self-serving. Even as the world has become ever smaller with the expansion of technology, it has not brought us closer together physically…just virtually. We live more and more behind our screens, to the point that we’ve become the one human being with whom we are in contact the most…and the most important. For the first time ever, there has come a need for a camera to flip around and face the photographer, because we’ve apparently become more important to record than the world around us.
And so we have a new word that quickly became the most-used word.
I’ve taken a selfie or two in my time. I enjoy my technology very much and love sending out pictures to the cybersphere to share what’s happening in my world. I’m talking to myself, here, please understand. But this has got to stop, and I’m not just talking about an overused word. This obsession with self is bad news for all of us because we need each other. We were made to serve…to give…to encourage…to come alongside…to build up…to LOVE…not ourselves, but any and everyone who is NOT us.
The thing is, when we live that way, turning the camera back around and focusing on the view outside ourselves, we’ll find all those things poured back over ourselves in the final shot.
And, well…that right there is a kind of selfie I can live with.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8-9 MSG
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34 ESV
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 ESV
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV