Not only are selfies taking over the world, its now the subject of a new show. The selfie has become so popular it has even found its way into the Webster Dictionary. The term is defined as, a self portrait by oneself using a camera phone especially for posting online. The new show will air on ABC starring Karen Gillan from Oculus and Doctor Who, and John Cho from Star Trek: Into Darkness and Sleepy Hollow. The new show is set around the life of a young woman who lives her life online. Her biggest concern is the number of followers and friends she has on her social media sites, but neglects to stay connected to her real friends. She finds herself the subject of an embarrassing video that goes viral and hires a marketing guru to help her change her image in the real world.
The main character, Eliza, is a 20-something narcissistic woman which makes for the perfect character description, but is the real world selfie obsessed truly seen as narcissistic? Recently, a satire site posted an article that claimed, constantly taking selfies is a mental disorder. Many people were under the impression the article was real and virally circulated the article through social media. The article claimed The American Psychiatric Association confirmed ‘selfies’ as a mental disorder. They referred to the disorder as Selfitis-the obsessive compulsive desire to photograph self portraits and posted them on various social media sites due to self esteem and intimacy issues. Adobo Chronicles, the site that posted the article, page notes claim the content is not news, but creative writing.
The debate is out by real psychologists on whether selfies are a positive or negative thing. Some therapists feel it is positive in presenting a positive image allowing individuals to control content that may not be flattering posted on social media, giving them the opportunity to present themselves in a positive light. Others feel it is more about the egomania and the selfie obsessed may be delusional about how interested others are in seeing images of them. Psychologists feel this behavior could lead to family, relationship and workplace problems.
In addition to the new show Selfie due out this fall, the popular activity has made it into entertainment and TV shows on other occasions. Ellen Degeneres took the most retweeted selfie ever at the 2014 Oscars, with a very impressive cast of characters. If the public didn’t know what a selfie was before then, that is not the case now. The View has a segment on the show where they have stars pose with an empty spot next to them; viewers send in images of themselves filling the empty spot next to the star.
Selfie may be the first new show of the fall season that addresses the social media phenomenon, but it would not be the last. The social media aspect of the show appears to be the launch pad for a romantic comedy storyline, but the topic gives the show a unique twist. Research on the selfie phenomenon seems to say that not many people are too bothered by the constant posting of personal shots by friends on various social media sites in spite of what the psychologists say. As of now, many companies are developing apps and filters for camera phones that cater to taking a selfie. The selfie is a money maker and is more popular than ever.
Opinion by Christina Thompson