I’m at the age where many of the people I know have kids, and some of those people are old enough (or had their kids at a young enough age) to have teenagers, or kids who are about to be teenagers. Aside from the total mindfuck this gives me, I’ve noticed that some of these people’s kids hijack their parents’ phones and Facebook accounts (notice I didn’t say “hack,” because you can’t hack something that’s open, you fucking idiots) to…post selfies, apparently. This seems to be the highest priority when one of these kids encounters an electronic device. Higher even than checking out their parents’ bank balance or search histories (totally what I would have done had smartphones existed when I was a kid). Higher than snooping on text messages. Sometimes to the tune of 12 photos a day on an account that doesn’t even belong to them, these kids’ highest priority is taking photos of themselves.
In addition to the creepy feeling it gives me to constantly see photos of 11-year-old girls trying on their best sexy faces, I’m left wondering about the people I know, these kids’ parents, the ones who are allowing this to happen and, by allowing it, kind of encouraging it, as well. Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent and maybe it’s because of a generation gap that separates those of us who see obsessive selfie-taking as a sign of gross insecurity and those of them who see it as just a way to kill the time. Maybe I am hopelessly out of touch. That’s definitely a possibility.
While I’m admittedly in no position to tell someone how to parent, it makes me curious about what you’re saying to your kid when you allow/encourage this kind of self-obsession. And that’s what it is – self-obsession. Your kids are so into themselves that I’ve seen entire albums containing upwards of 20 photos at the same bathroom mirror, and any photo taken of an outside thing – say a park, a waterfall, something else pretty – is still taken at arm’s length because if their face or at least some part of their body isn’t in the photo, did it actually happen?
But of course parents can’t control what their kids are doing all of the time (ahem even though they can control what goes from their phone to the Internet ahem), so maybe the better question is for these kids. Hey, kids. Listen up, an old lady is speaking.
What’s with all the selfies? Do you really have nothing better to think about than yourself? Do you have nothing better to do than take photos of yourself? Do you really think that photo with your tongue sticking out is any different from that photo with your tongue sticking out, or that you’re fooling anyone for a moment with your fake-ass attempts at self-deprecation? Do you know what life is? Do you guys know anything about Louis C.K., and did you pay attention when he said this:
“And I go, ‘oh, I’m getting sad, gotta get the phone and write “hi” to like 50 people’…then I said, ‘you know what, don’t. Just be sad. Just let the sadness, stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck.’
And I let it come, and I just started to feel ‘oh my God,’and I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch. I cried so much. And it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments.
And then I had happy feelings. Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.
The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off or the food. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die. So that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.”
So yeah, I feel old. Also this is what pedophiles are into these days, so CONGRATULATIONS, PARENTS OF THE YEAR.