James Franco Explains the Power of Selfies


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When's the last time you took a selfie? Last week? Christmas day? This morning? Chances are that it wasn't too long ago. Selfie was 2013's word of the year, according to the Oxford University Press, and for good reason: selfies caused controversy, were routinely taken with world leaders, and went viral, with no hints of slowing down going into 2014.

James Franco, decided to explain society's obsession with selfies in a recent New York Times article, detailing it from the perspective of a celebrity:

But a well-stocked collection of selfies seems to get attention. And attention seems to be the name of the game when it comes to social networking. In this age of too much information at a click of a button, the power to attract viewers amid the sea of things to read and watch is power indeed. It’s what the movie studios want for their products, it’s what professional writers want for their work, it’s what newspapers want — hell, it’s what everyone wants: attention. Attention is power. And if you are someone people are interested in, then the selfie provides something very powerful, from the most privileged perspective possible. ... We all have different reasons for posting them, but, in the end, selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are. I am actually turned off when I look at an account and don’t see any selfies, because I want to know whom I’m dealing with. In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

His main point? Mix your pictures up. Selfies with a healthy dose of other material is good, and will help you get a lot of likes, keeping your Instagram profile interesting—and will satisfy your thirst for attention at the same time.

[viaNew York Times]

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