Did you know that in 2013, Oxford Dictionaries declared the word selfie as The International Word of the Year, describing it as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”?
Of course you did.
Well, selfies have been around for a long time, long before smartphones, and I have always been fascinated with them. They tell a different, more intimate story. And, now that they can be shared more easily, they have become an indispensable part of our lives.
Selfies are an art form. If you doubt this, watch this video.
They empower the artist to chose what, when, and where to shoot. I’m not suggesting my selfies are art. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But my smartphone empowers me to shoot frequently. That’s the difference. It’s ubiquitous. Always with me. Even when I’m on the bikes. And, surprisingly, it boasts a lot of technology, comparable to my old SLRs that are collecting dust in the cupboard. Features that can result in good, even excellent, photographs.
I used to think selfies were an age thing. Something only millennials did. Narcissistic in a way. The American Psychiatric Association even consider taking selfies is a mental disorder.
The disorder is called selfitis, and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem, and to fill a gap in intimacy.
- Borderline selfitis : Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting it on social media
- Acute selfitis: Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media
- Chronic selfitis: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.
I don’t fall into any of these categories. That’s a good thing. Right? I only take selfies when cycling, and seldom share them in any way, except perhaps on this post.
Let’s face it. Selfies, as we know them, are a recent phenomenon. People of all ages, sexes, religions, and political stripes take them. It seems, at least to me, there is a universal need to document, and as we grow older, validate our lives. We always have. The prehistoric cave drawings are no different than the digital images of today, a record of life at the time.
I take selfies when cycling. Not while moving, although I suppose I could do that as well. No, I take them when stopped, perhaps at the summit of a climb, during bathroom breaks, or when relaxing afterward. Why do I do this? And, why don’t I take them at other times? Well, I’m a cyclist. And, I suppose that’s how I think of myself, and want to be remembered.
These images picture me enjoying rides.
I have included a random collection of selfies taken over the past several years. They are always a head shot, sometimes with an interesting backdrop, always with natural lighting. I don’t take myself too seriously, and usually have a smile on my face, even during a 20 km climb up one of the local mountains in the rain.
That’s what cycling does. It puts a smile on my face 😀
Oh yeah. Did you notice that I cycle all year in the cold, rain, and hot sun 👏
Do you make selfies a part of your rides 🤔