These days, our social media feeds are overrun with daring, adventurous photos of our peers’ travels around the world and their daring exploits. It seems as though the entire purpose of Facebook and Instagram is so that we can brag to our networks about how we’re living life to the fullest. But how has our modern-day use of the selfie really affected us?
We can better relate to companies
Selfies are the new age of branding and authenticity for many companies who are in the lifestyle, travel, and tech industries. Formerly thought of as having only sat behind a stuffy boardroom desk, now we’re seeing company CEO’s out in their element, boasting pictures and telling stories through their own personal lens. A marketing ploy stroke of genius? Probably, as young adults are now able to identify, on a closer, more personal level, with the companies they see as being “cool” and relevant to them. Gone are the days of purchasing ads in print space – we have been, undeniably, thrust into a world of social media frenzy, enabling companies to not only make themselves and their lifestyles more accessible, but to also allow their customers to be directly engaged with their every move.
Selfies make us more daring
In Yellowstone National Park, there have been several Bison attacks of tourists trying to nail the perfect selfie with these wild animals. On the flip side, we’ve all seen the horrifying photos of people who hunt endangered animals for sport (the latest image I saw was with a woman who had a sick smile on her face as she posed with her latest ‘trophy’ – a giraffe).
Although it might make our blood boil to see such disturbing images, perhaps it has opened our eyes to issues that have long needed the attention of those who had not necessarily cared in the past. As too much personal exposure on social media can be a huge enemy for us, exposure to issues and causes that we now have instant access to, maybe in some part due to the selfie phenomenon, may be a blessing in disguise.
Selfies make us more aware
We all know the issues that have been caused in national parks, where people try snagging the most outrageous selfie they can, only to post it on their social media channels. Lucky for all us park-lovers out there, the National Parks Service decided to make an example out of some of these less-than-brilliant posts. Sure, the photos are awe-inspiring, but we can all be reminded that our National Parks, and Mother Nature in general, need to be respected, rather than exploited. The Parks Service has taken legal action against some visitors who used their social media accounts to brag about doing things, or being in places that, had been clearly marked as forbidden. Now, if only we could instill this anecdote of ‘once you post something, it’s there forever’ into the minds of all the teenagers out there, maybe there’s hope for future generations.