Sakeena Suliman – Opinion | 02 December 2013- cii
Squinching, teeging and smizing are all arts to selfie posing. If you don’t know what a selfie is, I’d implore you to remain ignorant but this article might *cough* enlighten *choke* you.
If you have never heard the word selfie, teeg or smize before, it means you are of a rare breed. It means you have not attempted to pout your lips into a self-induced collagen implant look or gaze deeply into your Smartphone’s camera while your jab arm extends in front of you and you mentally say “cheese”.
Selfies are the new pics on the social network block with people taking photos of themselves and instantly sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We all have those friends constantly updating a display picture or avatar with their latest stroke of self-portrait photographic genius.
If you never thought you’d get that “up close and personal” with your friends and acquaintances’ lips and other facial features, social media and the Smartphone has changed that. Forever.
That’s because in order to really enjoy it the more you have to give to it and the more transparent you have to be with it. Together, technology, the Smartphone and social media has made life about me, my selfie and I.
Turning the camera on yourself, while eating a double cheese burger, at some or other hot spot, is vain, and embarrassing. And amusing to your audience. Just like “checking in” and browsing while at social gatherings, these social-media-influenced habits have become almost normal and part of modern life.
Mobile technology has made life easier but it has ironically made us antisocial and therefore intolerable, vain and therefore somewhat obnoxious, lazy and therefore less independent.
Because we’re so used to getting streams of information at the tap of a few clicks, people have become more impatient and less attentive to what people have to say rather than what they have to show.
There’s something so fascinating about being able to communicate in badly spelled typeset that we’d rather check our emails and chat to people somewhere else on BBM or Whatsapp, rather than engage in reality with people sharing the air we breathe, right in front of us.
We’ve become so hooked with taking pictures of our food to instantly post them on Instagram for strangers to feast on our meals that we hardly look up from the dinner table anymore. Engaging with our families and friends means sharing videos, pictures and links through chat groups called “family” or “friends”.
We’ve become so robotic that we’d rather hug through emoticon than actually step inside another human being’s one square meter of personal space to do it. The only other hand we’re keen to walk and hold is our hand held.
Engaging with technology has become so addictive that it shares our pillow and has become the first thing we reach for in the morning. People are constantly on their phones and sometimes in the most inappropriate places.
It’s guaranteed that if someone gets to work or campus and realises they’re phoneless, they behave as though they’ve been thrust into a rehab centre called the real world for that day.
If you suffer from symptoms such as reaching into your handbag or pocket every five minutes for your Smartphone or you feel lost without your gadget, then you’re an addict. And most of us probably are.
While cell phones of before might have allowed us to multi task because it only needed one hand to operate, Smartphones require both our hands and so much more attention.
Technology may be in the palm of our hands and has placed the world at our feet but it’s made us aloof, cold beings easily and constantly connected to a virtual reality. Disconnecting us from the reality that matters and changing the essence of our humanity.