Selfies: New Art Form or Old-Fashioned Narcissism?

Point, snap, adore. The world is obsessed with selfies.

Digital self-portraits called selfies are taking social media by storm. Usually taken with a camera phone, iPhone wielding teenagers, celebrity personality Kim Kardashian, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and even Pope Francis have posed for the ubiquitous images.

Some call the selfie a new art form. Others, a surge of narcissism. One thing that is clear is that sharing self-portraits on social media — such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter — has become a national phenomenon.

In August, Oxford Dictionaries added selfie to its word list. Use of the Instagram hashtag #selfie grew by more than 200 percent since January and the site’s top 10 selfie-related hashtags totaled more than 41 million photos, according to the Huffington Post.

Brooke Arnold, 18, of Augusta, sends about 50 selfies per week to high school friends via Snapchat. She likes to receive them, too.

“You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. You can get so much more across, like your emotions, in a selfie,” Arnold said.

Arnold doesn’t like to post selfies on Instagram or Twitter though where tons of people can see her goofy faces. They are just for laughs with close friends.

Most selfies are taken by holding a forward-facing camera phone at arms length. They can also be taken standing in front of a mirror.

For selfie lovers, camera photo albums contain dozens of images capturing the outfit of the day, fun outings, special moments and memorable places.

Digital images allow people to take multiple photos before they find one that’s just right to post. Photo filters available on Instagram, Repix, Mextures and various other apps can add to the perfect look.

“You can be walking down the street and see someone making a funny face. You know they are taking a selfie,” she said.

Augusta Chronicle (GA)

(c)2013 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)

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