Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Half-Selfie

     Urban dictionary defines "selfie" in a whole bunch of ways, most of which are hilarious, some of which are a little disturbing, but the bulk of which amount to a picture taken of oneself by oneself with the intention of posting it on a social networking site, and which generally features some sort of face made towards the camera, so long as that face is other than normal.
     Everyone under twenty-five (25) has taken one and posted it somewhere on the Internet, everyone who is under fifty-five (55) has taken one just out of curiosity even if they won't admit it - not even to their priest on their death bead - and everyone between fifty-five (55) and seventy (70) don't know what one is.  People over seventy (70) seem for some reason to have jumped on the technology bandwagon so for them the odds are even up.  The point is here, Company, that the selfie is a cultural phenomenon.  It has its own hashtag (#selfie), it has its own sitcom (Selfie), it has its own absurdly long Wikipedia page which I may or may not have discovered while looking up the link for the sitcom just above there, and which may or may not feature such subsections as "Sociology," "Psychology and Neuroscience," and "World Record" and which may or may not actually break down the effects that taking the photo from a high angle has on one's look and which may or may not refer to something called a "selfie stick" a number of times.  So yeah, let's add that.  The selfie has its own stick (selfie stick).  And, it has its own "disambiguation" which is how you know that it has made the big time.
     But what a lot of people don't know, is that the super popular selfie has a bastard cousin running around the Internet.  I like to call it the half-selfie, which is a little bit of a misnomer because it really isn't a selfie in the true sense, but it is a half of something, but also it is a selfie in spirit.  See what I mean?  Bastard cousin.  The half-selfie is this thing:

Yeah, you know it now.  It is the bastard cousin where you have a photo that you want to use as a profile picture or something, but maybe you don't want the other person to be in it with you, so you do the best with the cropping feature on Android Gallery to get rid of them, but let's be honest.  We all know.
     Here is how you know.  First of all, part of the other person is still there.  Please see Exhibit A above.  That is the worst.  If you are so desperate to use that particular photo of yourself, because you look that super awesome and a half, then the least that you could do would be to hax0r your way into a free trial of Photoshop or something where you can actually remove all the person.  That is just being respectful, especially because at least half of the time in the half-selfie the person who is being cut out is an ex.  And because we don't use scissors anymore apparently we can't just cut them out of the photo and put it back in the frame like we used to.
     Sometimes though, you are really good.  You really get in there with Microsoft Paint or something, or maybe the photo was taken just right and you can get all of the other person out of there and you get this:


No wait.  That's a train.  That doesn't have anything to do with the half-selfie.  That is for a different project.  here is the right one. You get this:


This is, to me, the most disconcerting kind of half-selfie, because nothing adds up.  It is deeply unsettling even at first glance.  Not because it is a half-selfie of the lovely Sandara Park, but because something doesn't add up, you know what I mean?  Once you sort of analyze the situation, you can see why things seem so wrong here, right?  The photo is of such strange proportions, way tall but skinny.  The body language and posture is not quite right for someone who is taking a picture of oneself.  The odd lighting and shadows.  In this one she is at least looking at the camera, sometimes you get the one where the subject is looking maybe at a second camera that is taking a photo of the same scene or something and it looks extra awkward.
     And so it goes with the half-selfie.  Truth be told you don't see the half-selfie as much as you did a few years ago, back before everyone had a reversible camera in their phone (ever try to take a selfie with a flip phone?  Tragic).  Back then sometimes that was the easiest way to get a picture of oneself.  But in the end, there is really no reason to every, ever do the half-selfie.  Because you should be able to have a friend around if you can't just take a selfie selfie.  And if you don't have a friend or maybe live way out in the middle of nowhere, well, there is always a nice landscape, isn't there?

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