This is an open letter to the youth of the world: please, for the sake of our future, I implore you to stop taking pictures of yourself.
Sure, two weeks ago the White House announced a devastating new report that found climate change is dramatically starting to affect how Americans live and work and that the burning of fossil fuels has roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat waves and rising sea levels but that is barely a close second to the epidemic of ‘selfies’ via social networking that has allowed this generation to represent itself as one giant, self-obsessed, narcissistic asshole.
Now, before you click onward in shame, it should be known that the occasional self-taken picture is absolutely acceptable. There is nothing wrong with posting a picture of the black eye you received last night when you were trying to avoid that bar fight and accidently turned and walked into an unforgiving door frame or even the unabashed selfie in that bangin’ new sheath dress. But this must be done very sparingly. That means once every couple of weeks at most. For some of you, this new selfie infrequency is horrifying. How will people remember you exist unless you post a daily picture of yourself (that looks insanely like the one you posted yesterday) to let the world know that you are “still here, dammit, and need attention!”
Every generation eventually finds itself saying some variation of “Kids these day.” The older amongst us is bound to find contempt in a multitude of actions and habits of young people. Hypocritically, their gripe is often over something they committed as youths themselves — simply forgetting they too were slaves to trendy impulses or they rationalize that the times were different and that the act itself was executed in a more classy way. A disconnect between generations over music, drugs, politics, clothes, etc. is a healthy, cyclical tradition that will never end, no matter how cool your parents claim to be.
Today’s young people, millennials, born between the late 1970’s and early 2000’s have a truly unique trend that our parents and grandparents never could have experienced in their day because they simply didn’t have the technology. With this technology, it is up to you to use it in a way that represents you and your generation in a way that doesn’t make you come off looking like the terrible girl at the party who walks around telling everyone that she “doesn’t care what people think” (and then takes a picture of herself).
The term ‘selfie’, apologies, I mean #selfie, is an alarming new trend that took off in 2012 for people who now had a hashtag to justify their vanity. I love Urban Dictionary’s definition:
An act usually carried out by girls aged 12-21, the act involves taking photos of ones self while posing. If the act is carried out by a man, he is usually seen as being gay.
Example 1: Yo man, I seen you put selfies up on Facebook… You gay cunt!
Example 2: Hey man, I was doing some Facebook stalking today, found the hottest girl, check out her selfies.
It should be noted that example two is good only for women who only want to be screwed at 2:17am and kicked out at 4:11am, but never dated, because a barrage of selfies on one’s Instagram or Facebook red flags a high-maintenance egomaniac.
May I suggest a way to wean off this addiction? Try taking pictures of interesting things — because god knows you are no longer interesting, you are wildly overexposed. If you don’t have an eye for interesting or beautiful things found in everyday life, that’s okay, just take pictures of anything other than yourself. I may un-follow or de-friend you out of boredom but at least I don’t hate you.