I have prided myself over the years on the fact that I adapt to new technology easily. I set up the houses first wifi router, I learned how to manipulate Microsoft Word, and I’m usually called on to troubleshoot when the computer isn’t doing its computer thing properly.
And then this stupid little ghost came along…
I finally got a new phone, one that can do more than text and make calls. (So basically any phone anyone else had since 2010. Probably earlier. Definitely earlier.)
My sister insisted that I get Snapchat, which, if you don’t know, is an app where you take photos and videos which you can annotate and/or caption. You then send these pictures/videos to send to your contacts, which last for a limited amount of time (i.e. five seconds). Usually, these pictures are “selfies”—which, if you don’t know, are pictures of the photographer by the photographer.
It’s like a super text.
And I can’t do it.
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, so I just prefer the communicative medium of words rather than pictures. Maybe it’s because I’m too lazy to actually take a picture/video and then annotate it (which is very likely). Maybe it’s because texting is just simpler.
But it actually isn’t any of those. The real reason why I can’t stand snapchat is because I refuse to selfie.
And I don’t mean I consciously refuse to take pictures of myself.
I mean that when I lifted my arms to align the camera of my phone with my face, my arms rejected the movement.
My brain sent several signals to command the arms to lift. I’m pretty sure it did. And my arms usually follow orders.
And it’s not even my first time using a front facing camera. I’ve done it so many times with my sister to produce what is known as the “us-ie”.
But somehow, at the subconscious, basal level, my body rejects the action. And not only did my arms refuse to move, they actually sent a reply back up the nervous system to the brain saying, “Hell no, you are not doing that. Do you know what that looks like? That looks ridiculous and narcissistic.”
And I mean no offence to those who do take and enjoy taking selfies—my sister and close friends included. I just can’t do it the same way I can’t spend more than five minutes on Facebook unless I’m actually having a conversation with someone.
And maybe I shouldn’t blame technology on this one—I should blame culture. But what came first? Front facing cameras or people taking photos of themselves?
Think about it. It makes sense that the front-facing camera was made to facilitate the already prominent selfie. In reality, technology is simply supporting the culture.
I’m not a conformist. I’m not a non-conformist either. I’m a me-ist. And technology found a discontinuity between myself and pop culture, and evolved in that direction.
So congrats technology. You have finally come up with something I cannot adapt to.
And culture? Have fun with the ghost.