Enrique Rivera: Selfies and what they reveal

Social media is full of different variations of humanitarian exposure. People post pictures of their lifestyles, blogs reviewing restaurants they’ve visited, throwback photos, rants, and every now and then a status revealing whats on their mind. The list goes on. However, what is really common on any social media platform is the use of photography. Users often enjoy having an aesthetic for their page/feed. A ton of photographers use apps like Instagram to promote themselves and their work. However whats really common is the “selfie”. A selfie is known as a photo someone took of themselves using their smartphone or web camera. As stated on google, users have posted about 24 billion selfies throughout the duration of the first year Google Photos was released. This is a shocker (only 7.4 billion people on this planet!) Considering what photography is versus what a selfie is, it makes one wonder; Are humans really the egotistic, self centered, self invested beings that people make it out to seem? Of course, any one can be confident in their looks and themselves. That’s okay. Though there are so many things to capture. Which brings you back to what the ideal modern basis of photography is. Capturing what you think is worthy or eye candy. Nonetheless, true photography is not documenting something that is beautiful. It is the art of making something beautiful. Taking a look at Cindy Sherman and what she did with her Instagram account shows you the flexibility users have to edit their photos. Her ways of exaggerating certain facial expressions or changing the crescent of her lips entails that photography and identity as we know it has changed. One can easily photoshop or add in great detail, accommodations to themselves in their photos (Or even the whole photo). Another question that arises now is whether people are insecure and use these effects and widgets to portray themselves as someone else, practically lying about who they are just so they can pass as who they wish/want to be. Whatever the reason, people will continue to tweak photos and their identity for their cyber lives and photography will always be an aid in helping them achieve it.

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