There’s No Such Thing As A Selfless Selfie

The 17-year-old Australian girl who quit social media has peaked my interest. Though I want to chuckle at this young girl who clearly has very little understanding of how the world works, I also have to hold myself back from being a complete a-hole, and understand that this girl is only 17.

As someone who works in marketing, hearing someone complain that all social media is fake and every product you see some one using on social media is just an advertising scheme feels as offensive as it is untrue. Yes, their are fashion and lifestyle bloggers being paid to use certain products, but I like to think may of these individuals are choosing to promotes products and services that they believe in. If you feel like you’re being fake or living a fake lifestyle, welcome to the real world. I wish I didn’t have to hide aspects of my personality out of fear of them being deemed “unprofessional.” Lots of people have to behave a certain way in their profession, and if you don’t like it then find a job where you can be 100% yourself, but there’s no need to call others miserable because they’re trying to make a living. I am not miserable in the slightest. My goal has been to become a writer, and I get to do what I love everyday.

Moreover, I also don’t think social media is as bad as some people say. However, that is certainly not to say that some people experience very real feelings of sadness and isolation as a result of social media. I’m just not one of them. I get very few likes on all my posts, and I’m cool with that. I don’t post for anyone, but myself, which leads me to my next thought: is social media extremely narcissistic? Of course it is. How can it not be? I post pictures I want to show off (nonetheless, I really don’t care about getting likes on them; I just want people to see how cool I am).

Believe it or not, this post wasn’t inspired by anything I’ve discussed. It was inspired by a girl I follow on Instagram, who posted a selfie wherein she was in the car, and you could see a man with a backpack and raincoat standing outside. On the photo she wrote “Give to strangers. It feels good.” In the caption she proceeded to spell out a lengthy story about her decision to give this man money even though she “never gives money to the homeless.” Now, I write about this, realizing that by ridiculing her on an Internet blog post, I’m probably no better than her. After all, she did a nice thing by giving a man whom she perceived as homeless a dollar, and if sharing that act on Instagram made her feel better because she thinks she’s inspiring people, all the power to her – maybe someone was inspired by that. Honestly, even if someone else looks at her photo and thinks, “Hm, helping people is a great photo-op,” and then goes out and does the same thing, at least someone benefited from that action. There’s no such thing a selfless good deed. Right?

I digress (sort of). I didn’t take issue with the post (because it’s not surprising at all coming from the girl who posted it), I took issue with the lack of self-awareness. Am I crazy for thinking that posting a selfie with a homeless man in the background, and then going on about how you just had to give him a dollar a tad narcissistic?  I mean, why can’t you just give the man a dollar and feel good about it? Personally, I would never do that because I can’t imagine how anyone would see it and go, “wow, she is a really great person.” Though, I guess in this day-and-age, unless someone sees you doing something, it’s as if it didn’t happen. So maybe that means that it’s not enough to just donate money to or volunteer at charitable organizations, unless you document it with a selfie.