Thursday, February 25, 2021

Could the “selfie” narcissists please stand up!

Reading Time: 3 minutesFrom Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars, to Shahid Kapoor – these days everyone is indulging in the selfie trend

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A lifestyle magazine recently featured a questionnaire designed to determine whether or not you are a narcissist. Sitting outside on a lazy Saturday, I started responding to the ten questions. I answered to the best of my ability and self-knowledge. My score was three out of 10. Not a strong narcissist, that score suggested.

Jassu (my wife), was sitting next to me and saw me chuckling. I informed her of my test result and that it suggested I was not overly “self-absorbed”. She refuted my findings immediately and urged me (strongly) to retake the test under her supervision. I reluctantly obliged. Strangely, this time the score ended up being nine out of 10.

I protested that the new score was strongly influenced by her views of me. “Well, I am your better half and technically I know you more than you do,” was her reply. In a minute I was branded an overt narcissist. No wonder I am not a fan of these ‘lifestyle columns’.

Anyway, this is not about me being a narcissist (a label which, by the way, I still disagree with). One of the questions used in the survey to determine one’s narcissist quotient related to our tendency to indulge in “selfies”. The advent of smartphones and social media has enhanced the narcissistic element in most of us. Who doesn’t love a selfie? Many have often plastered one on a social media platform. Some (yours truly included) do it more often than others.

In a restaurant, at a golf course, in your bedroom, on a holiday, in a cinema, on the operating table, in the maternity ward, at a night club, on a flight, in an airport lounge, in a sporting arena, at a birthday party, on the street, in the office, with family and friends, or just by yourself, it’s easy to take out your smartphone and go for a selfie. If the first one does not please you, just click a few more until you look dazzling in one of those!

Like any other trend, selfies have developed a certain benchmark and an etiquette too. Ladies at any gathering have to line up sideways for their selfie. There is no other way to do it. At least, I haven’t seen one. Girls, on the other hand, do it with their pronounced “pouts”. And often in a toilet (for some unknown reason). Guys (men and boys included), well like with any other thing, guys have no real selfie “etiquette”. Just huddle up and scream out loud.

The other good thing about selfies is that you don’t have to share one with the world until you get that perfect shot. The one that captures you without a flaw. It may take a few attempts to get that perfect selfie, but who’s going to find out. If, after a few clicks, you still struggle to look your best in those “untouched” selfies, load it onto Instagram or something similar and give it a bit of “nip and tuck”. Iron out a few wrinkles, light up the background, thin out the double chin, blur out the red eye – your perfect selfie is ready for you. Perhaps it will be your next profile picture for a few days.

Just remember, if you can’t find a better place than the toilet to click your snap – don’t forget to crop out the toilet roll in the background!

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Sanam Sharma
A typical middle class guy who is abundantly opinionated, moderately flawed, and adequately grounded

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