The Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013 is the “selfie.” A “selfie” is defined as a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam, and uploaded to a social media website. While the poses itself seem fairly harmless, albeit slightly annoying and unflattering, the premise behind the selfie puts our world at, yet again, another human disconnect. Below are some reasons why the concept of the selfie is so harmful to us and our relationships, and three ways to turn the selfie into WE-fie.
Let’s discuss for a moment, how unattractive it is to meet someone who presents as selfish, internally motivated and living with little regard for other people. We despise these characteristics in others, right? Imagine being in a relationship or married to someone with this worldview. If we continue to operate as a culture who is internally motivated and out for ourselves- constantly thinking and acting in a sea of “selfies”- then we begin to alienate others, miss out on fond memories created amongst friends and family and destroy our intimate and sacred relationships; essentially leaving us with the duck-face selfie to admire. And who wants to admire that?
Start taking more WE-fies
1. Cultivate your relationships by including them in your life plans. Quit thinking about what others can do for you and more about how you can spontaneously surprise your loved one with a handwritten thank you card, a stickie note expressing gratitude for them or making it your mission to compliment or congratulate them when you next see them.
2. Build memories with other people. You’ll hate to look back and realize that, while taking that selfie pic, you missed out on the way your partner was admiring you from across the room, and the funny comment being made by your good friend was also dismissed. Be mindful of others.
3. Live in the moment. Stay in tune with their current struggles, triumphs, accomplishments and worries. Off your support and assistance, where needed. Your active listening and responses won’t be forgotten, and may even be paid back to you in the future.