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The Pros and Cons of Taking Selfies

The Pros and Cons of Taking Selfies

By Valerie Burn

Social networking is a wonderful thing. It allows you to stay connected to your friends and share information about yourself to the world. Sometimes it seems like if you didn't Instagram it, it never happened at all. And checking in at Adam's School of Driving, posting a link to a funny blog, and uploading photos of every cupcake you see? It's all in a day's work for Facebook.

While the above seem like normal nowadays, there's one technological debate we just can't settle: the issue of regularly posting selfies (those are pics of yourself, taken by you, for you old-fashioned kiddies). Two of our bloggers duke it out and discuss when and if it's OK to participate in this modern stuffz in G-chat (yes, we are cool too).

Sissy: So let's just establish this: I am PRO-selfies.

Valerie: And I am more ANTI-selfies.

Sissy: I am not too embarrassed to admit that I have quite the selfie collection on my iPhone.

Valerie: I have lot of pictures of my dog on my iPhone, so that's kind of the same thing.

Sissy: In a way, I think selfie pics promote self-confidence. When I post a cute picture of the time I constructed a hot bun with an old sock, I feel like I'm kind of showing the world I can work it.

Sissy: GET IT GIRL.

Valerie: The fact is, anyone can look pretty good from the right angle, with enough make up, and a touch of Instagram.

Valerie: I prefer funny pictures, taken in the moment—a bunch of friends doing something stupid, you and your BFF giggling uncontrollably. I want to live in a world where people take pictures of other people, not just themselves!

Sissy: But when you look great, why not show the world? People have to see me looking just "eh" like, every single day.

Valerie: I am sure you have taken some really beautiful pictures of yourself. When you control the lighting, angle, hair, and make up, how can you not look good?

Sissy: And then, how can you not broadcast it to the world? "YOU LOOK SO PRETTY!" says everyone.

Valerie: The truth is, I prefer my natural self, even if it's a little imperfect and I have maybe 1.5 chins in that pic.

Sissy: I would like to try and post a picture of me with no chin whatsoever. That seems pretty artistic.

Valerie: I am not saying you need to keep ugly pics tagged, but there is something to be said about the confidence of being comfortable in your own, imperfect skin.

Sissy: I also think selfies make things easier, like when you take a selfie to be your Facebook picture. When you have other people in the picture, it's not always clear which one you are, and that can be confusing, especially if you use Facebook to friend guys that barely know you…yet.

Valerie: Sure, group pix for profile photos are a mixed blessing: they lets people know you have friends, but also leavesthe viewer wondering which one you are.

Sissy: Hopefully, they would know that I am the like, super pretty one in all the pictures. But a lot of my friends are totally cute. Isn't that confusing?

Valerie: This is why you have a mix of photos available. Show off your besties in your profile pic, and throw in a few of just you. Just don't go overboard with the angles, filters, and mascara.

Sissy: I love saying #nofilter after I have wasted 45 minutes trying to choose the perfect one, only to give up.

Valerie: I prefer the candid—or at least slightly less staged —photos. Profile pix are supposed to capture a moment and say a little something about yourself. They are not supposed to be your own personal modeling portfolio.

Sissy: I guess. Though, what do real models do? Not post the best pictures of their life online for people to see? Couldn't they like, get discovered?

Valerie: I think you are taking this a bit too far. I don't think Kate Upton got discovered on Facebook.

Sissy: Point taken. Most of us are not professional models. What about taking a selfies to get a good look at yourself? That way, you an see if you got any funky stuff in your teeth or see if you that sock in your bun is showing.

Valerie: This is what friends are for! After you finish that spinach salad, ask your amigo (or even a stranger! Who cares!), "Hey, is there anything in my teeth?"

Valerie: We were not meant to navigate this world alone.

Sissy: Wow, deep thoughts with Valerie Burn.

Valerie: Further, almost anything can be used as a reflective surface: a butter knife, a window, even your cell phone screen.

Sissy: I guess I could start carrying around a little compact mirror too. So I don't have to send my mom a selfie for beauty advice.

Valerie: The only person I wouldn't ask would be a crush.

Sissy: Hey, it might display some wicked confidence.

Valerie: Other people I wouldn't ask: that mean girl who would let you walk around with something in your teeth, kids with braces (they would kill to feel like there is nothing in their teeth).

Sissy: Can I send you a picture right now? To see if you like my face?

Valerie: Ummm….sure. See, if I were sending you a pic, I'd be much more likely to snap a funny sign, or MY dog, or some delicious food. Myself? With makeup on? At some ridiculous angle? Save it for the girls that do not have anything else going for them.

Sissy: That's kind of harsh! Anyway, do you have Snap Chat?

Valerie: No, but I know what it is.

Sissy: Snap Chat is so perfect for selfies. It's so genius in that it self-destructs the ugliest of pictures, so right now I would love to send you a pic of me with ten chins, spinach in my teeth and athletic footware in my hair.

Valerie: There is a time and a place for selfies, and Snap Chat might be it. Still, there is something so arrogant and "look at me!" about selfies. Don't you think so?

Sissy: Not always! You can send them in jest, like when you look really terrible and are wearing a pink fuzzy robe with dogs printed on it.

Valerie: What about to crushes? Does it just seem desperate?

Sissy: Only  if you're not careful! Like, don't go overboard and send a picture in your bra! I think you have to be a certain kind of cool to walk the line between skillful and artless seflies.

Valerie: I see what you are saying. I think maybe I am just too awkward to pull it off, so I am jealous of people who can.

Which side of the selfie line do you stand on? Do you think there's a right time and place to share them, or are they always tacky?

Topics: Life, The Internets
Tags: facebook, guides, photos, crushes, social networking, funny things, dos and don'ts, instagram, snap chat, gchat, selfies

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About the Author
Valerie Burn

Valerie Burn is a very cool Midwestern lady. She has lived in tons of exciting places, such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. She spends her free time snuggling her beautiful, perfect dog Teddy, and reading the entire internet every day. Valerie enjoys eating things, buying things, and writing things, as well as watching terrible TV.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.