It's not often that I write these words, in no small part because I think things through fooooorrrreeeevvvvveeeerrrr before forming an opinion, but here it is: I was wrong.
Totally and completely wrong.
Yep. I was.
I have spent the past several years thinking selfies are the stupidest thing to ever stupid. I now take it back.
Mostly. I can't quite entirely take it back for two reasons:
1. It seems that a whole bunch of people seem to think that the words "selfie" and "photo" are interchangeable. STOP THAT. A selfie is a photo of yourself that your took yourself. See that? SELF. It's right there in the name! Your dog does not take selfies, kids. Every time you post a photo that you took of your dog and say "Otis selfie!" I have to punch a fluffy kitten.
Kiara does not appreciate what you're making me do.
2. I was kinda right about some people who are selfie whores. You know that super gorgeous woman who posts beautiful selfies three times a day every single day? I've met her. In person. She's REALLY good at finding flattering angles and using filters on her photos. She is absolutely posting those carefully edited and perfected photos of herself so that you will compliment her because HOOBOY that's not what she really looks like.
And the second point there is what I previously thought about all selfies. I thought they were mostly MEEEEEEE! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!!!!!! photos, but without the caption that made it clear that people were going there and doing that.
Sometimes that's true. But, sometimes it's not.
I recently discovered that sometimes it's not because Alexis and a crew of her friends straightened me out. I was teasing the group about their gratuitous selfie posting on Instagram. Basically Alexis' entire grade is on Instagram. They all follow me, so I follow them back. I love to lurk in their timelines and see what they're saying to each other. The good news is that they really are consistently super nice to one another. The bad news is selfie after selfie after selfie OMG STOP TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF.
I said as much to a big group of them and then had to explain myself. I said that I think selfies are self-centered and just people wanting attention. How many times do you need to take a photo of your outfit and fish for compliments, you know?
It was about three minutes into the conversation that I was corrected.
"BUT MOOOOOM. I don't take pictures of myself so that people will compliment me. I take them so I remember how fun it was doing whatever and that I did it with whoever and that sort of thing. I take selfies so I remember that I was there!"
Go ahead and guess which kid said that. There's a solid hint in that paragraph.
It doesn't matter which kid said it, though. What matters is that a whole bunch of the kids chimed in to agree. It seems that they take selfies so that they will remember how they felt that day or how much fun they had or whatever.
That's not self-centered. I mean, maybe it is, but it's the exact reason I blog. I write to remember. The kids said they selfie to remember.
It's not about how cute she looked in that dress. It's about how she felt when she was wearing a cute dress.
It's not about how good he is at football. It's about remembering how much fun he had when he played in that game.
And so on.
So, I was wrong. Selfies aren't an act of the self-centered. They're actually kind of cool.
Which is exactly why I've been taking more of them.