Selfies are part of the Voyeurgasm Ubertrend, a societal trait that is being accelerated by the rapid improvement in tools that enable voyeurism, like the smartphone.
Apple’s iPhone 4 gave self-portraits a big shot in the arm with the inclusion of a front-facing camera, although, today, many selfies are taken using a mirror. But now the smartphone has gained an ally to help celebrate instant narcissism, in the form of the selfie stick.
That a telescoping wand designed to help smartphone users take better photos of themselves would be hailed by Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2014 is indicative of the far-reaching impact Voyeurgasm is having on society.
From The New York Times to The Verge to USA Today, everyone seems riveted by the selfie phenom and, pardon the pun, its selfie-stick growth curve:
- Market growth – The New York Times ruefully suggests that “the séance with the self is only going to grow.” Had the author understood our Voyeurgasm Ubertrend, he would have known why.
- Potential improvement – The Verge waxes poetically “I love how something so simple as a retractable rod takes a crude shot meant for one or two people and expands and improves upon its potential.”
- Hottest gift – USA Today called it “one of the hottest stocking-stuffer gifts this holiday season.”
- Narcissistick – While some believe that the millennial generation is no more self-indulgent or self-centered than any other generation, one 2010 study of 100 college students concluded that “Facebook feeds narcissicm.” No wonder some have dubbed the selfie stick the “Narcissistick.”
- Word of the year – In 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary chose “Selfie” as its word of the year.
- You will like it – On Medium, Lindsey Weber puts it succinctly: “You will mock, then purchase a selfie stick.”
And like it we will. Pew Research reports that 55% of Millennials, the generation aged 18 to 33, have posted a “selfie” on a social media site.