Month: October 2013

Selfies & Snapchat: The Secret Exhibitionist? (Motley Article)

(Note: Originally published in Motley magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2.  Reproduced due to people wishing to see the article. So here you go and I hope you like it)

Since the conception of social media, there has been a huge phenomenon among young people in particular: selfies.  A selfie has been described by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typuically one of omeself with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. They can be either taken individually or as group selfies.

It seems like everywhere you go, people are taking selfies. From concerts to nights out, they feel compelled to document themselves while having the craic in a pubic bathroom, while you are innocently washing your hands. These days it feels impossible to stay away from these happy snappers!

Let me make it clear that selfies are perfectly fine, provided that you do not overdo it. If you have a handful of pictures from nights out or from hanging out with your friends to capture fun times, that is acceptable. However, people will grow tired of your Facebook albums entitled “Random”, mostly set in your bathroom and/or bedroom (pretty much anywhere with a mirror); with a weirdly angled camera, excess make-up and fake tan, inappropriate clothes, duckface and the misused peace sign. These people are known as “Bebo Stunners”. It can get even more annoying when people take people take selfies for the sole purpose of fishing for compliments. They do thisby taking a selfie and uploading it, saying that they are “ugly” in the particular photo, and waiting for people to like the photo and comment on how “pretty” they actually are. It is as bad as headache-inducing textspeak, and stupidly cryptic posts about how everything in life has gone horrifically wrong for them.  I bet every person reading this knows at least one person who is a born and bred “Bebo Stunner”.

The amount of websites where we can share everything about ourselves in a visual way has increased significantly including Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and most recently, Snapchat. For those out of the loop, Snapchat is a social media app available on most smartphone devices, set up in 2011 by Stanford University students as part of their college project. What Snapchat does is allow you to take and send photos with optional captioning and/or ink drawings. The unique selling point of Snapchat is when the recipient views the photo message, it can only be see for a certain limit (maximum 10 seconds) before the photo deletes itself.
It has been reported that approximately 350 million photos are sent on Snapchat every day. Many photos are used for sharing with your friends including silly looking selfies and other amusing photos. However Snapchat is quickly gaining a reputation as a sexting app. Of course explicit selfies are sent on many websites, but Snapchat has become the most notorious. Some people send choose to send explicit pictures of themselves via Snapchat due to the photo message being temporary, therefore there is no proof of the photos. What some people do not realise is that you can screenshot and save photos from Snapchat. This makes is even riskier if the picture goes viral, which can have huge consequences on your reputation and your career prospects.
People have debated over selfies whether they are harmless fun or extreme narcissism. By taking these selfies, are we exposing too much of ourselves online? Are we representing ourselves in a positive or negative light? Most importantly, is this online exhibitionism a complete waste of time? What matters most is that you should not focus too much about how you look but how you act online. If you think carefully before posting and be yourself in a natural way, it will be self-exhibitionism in the best way possible.

“Choose Life”

Choose life. Choose almost dying. Choose not speaking when you should. Choose going mental when strangers take your toys. Choose a special school in the city. Choose to get bullied. Choose wondering what’s wrong with you. Choose new friends. Choose Jesus. Choose Gaelige. Choose speaking when you shouldn’t. Choose Canada. Choose insecurity. Choose ill-fitting clothes. Choose grief. Choose scary texts. Choose medals. Choose music. Choose obsessions. Choose another year. Choose the internet. Choose letters to actors. Choose letters to actors. Choose coffee. Choose poetry. Choose your passion. Choose anxiety. Choose trouble. Choose having everything at stake. Choose parties. Choose acting on your instincts. Choose finally getting what you fought for.

Choose life.

“Louki”

sad-loki

I am Louki of Asgard and I am burdened with a glorious purpose: To be great.

However, my father Odin will not see my greatness. No one will. Why? Because I am a Frost Giant. And nobody expects a Frost Giant to sit on the throne of Asgard.

At times, I look and act normal. However, I get exposed and turn blue. Like I did as a baby. And when I get angry, I obliterate those in my path of wrath.

Many claim I want infinite power. The gloss of success. People kneeling and obeying me as my subjects.

But all I really want is to be your equal and not the monster that parents tell their children about at night.

Is it madness? Is it?

 

“Alone”

I am alone. I lost my dignity. I lost the respect of others. I lost the respect of my friends and they can’t find me. My family are far away and they can’t know why I’m here. The only thing I never lost was love for myself, because it was never there.

Only the sun and wind love me now. The warm rays gently touch my cheek and the cool breeze wraps itself around me.

Sooner or later I will lose them too. But in that moment, they are the only thing I need I need in life.

“Ketchup Bottle”

1280-2-liquiglide-ketchup-bottle

As I commence to feast upon my long-awaited meal at the banquet, I am served with an unassuming bottle of ketchup. Transparent, glass exterior, filled with blood red sauce. It interests me (though I do not need it to make the meal taste good).

I turn the lid to open it and turn the bottle over. The sauce seeps out in droplets, one by one. “It is not enough”, I think to myself and I smack the bottle hard at its base. Just as I have enough sauce for my meal, the bottle shatters into pieces.

The ketchup explodes on my meal, and on me (exactly where my heart should be). I learn that I cannot leave the banquet hall table to clean my mess. I must learn to eat, despite my distress.