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30th July, 2015 by Steve F

We've all done it - outstretched arm hugging our best friend, with that fab background behind us! There are stats saying that there's in excess of 300 million Instagram photos tagged with the selfie label. Not only are we all at it but there's even the US President doing it!

I do wonder at the point of it ... is it our need for fame (Andy Warhol said we should all have 15min) or a deeper narcissistic meaning where we try to become more than our 'real' self and have a craving for admiration?

But there's another strand to selfies, one that is being exploited by marketers - brands that are combining our love of selfies and social media to promote products and services:

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1888hotel.com a Sydney based hotel, actively encourages customers to shoot selfies - it even has a picture frame in the lobby (a 'selfie space') for you to pose in. It then has it's own Instagram page for you to post your photo. The result is a great social interaction and media linking mechanism that does wonders for the hotels' profile!

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Ray-ban are also tapping into our keenness to photo ourselves with a selfie app 'Reflections' - it enables both the front and rear cameras in your smart phone to create an arty montage of the 2... preferably one of them is you wearing ray-bans!

But is this all an exploitation of our social world and is it right for large corporate brands to jump on the band wagon? There are some good causes that have benefitted from similar campaigns ... think 'ice bucket challenge' and how it went viral on social media, all to the benefit of the charity motor neurone disease.

A final word of warning ... safety notices are now being issued in Russia after 100's of injuries and dozens of deaths this year. It seems to get the best and most dramatic selfie people are going to extremes. In May, a 21-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the head in Moscow while taking a selfie holding a pistol. She survived but suffered injuries. In January, two young men died in the Urals while taking a selfie holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out. The mobile phone with the selfie survived as a record.

You obviously need to take safety into account and I think in moderation (like most things) selfies are great - they can be a fantastic record of you and your life, and if you want to share, then there's going to be some who are interested... but don't overdo it!

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