Somewhere, Ansel Adams is shaking his head: the emotional portraits of the American West and the breathtaking landscapes captured on black and white film have been replaced. Now, there are only selfies— they practically have us surrounded. Sometimes taken with the aid of smartphones and mirrors (and often including a toilet in the background) selfies have quickly become the new form of expression. They are posted on social media sites, blogs, and dating sites. But, just because selfies are popular, doesn't mean they are necessarily good. At least, not always.
This is particularly true if you are a guy trying to impress the opposite gender with one selfie, two selfies, or a montage of your greatest hit selfies. The reason for this is that women read into pictures, some even analyze them and make assumptions. Thus, you need to think before you click. It's not so much about selfies that you should post— rather, it's the selfies that you shouldn't.
So, the next time you want to show the internet that the camera loves you, remember not to take selfies that:
1. Show Your Penis
You probably wouldn't consider posting a selfie like this on Instagram or Facebook (and definitely not LinkedIn), but you might toy with the idea of texting a pic of your pickle to a girl you are dating (or hoping to date). If you are thinking about this, stop. Penis selfies are never good news; just ask Anthony Weiner.
2. Show You Surrounded By Girls
Typically, a pic of you in a female sandwich is fine. However, if you are trying to meet a girl via Match.Com or Plenty of Fish or any other internet website, you better refrain from these types of photos. An image like this may cause a woman to assume that you are a player, automatically giving you one strike against you. Even if the women surrounding you are your cousins or your sisters, people who see your photo won't know that. So, it's best to omit any type of media that just screams "HPV forever."
3. Selfies That Are Obligatory
Obligatory selfies are essentially the ones that are cliché — a picture of you in the bathroom mirror, shirt off and half-amused smile on your face; a picture of your feet; or a picture of you and your cat doing anything. These don't really show any of your self-expression — they just show you taking the exact same pics as everyone else. Yep, you may as well just post a photo of you pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
4. Selfies That Are Booze Filled
This one is really correlated to your age: if you are in your early twenties or in college, by all means, post a pic that tells that world that, yes, this Bud IS for you. But, if you are older — late twenties and up — the booze filled self-promotion can come across as immature. As we age, people generally adapt so that getting crazy drunk three times a week becomes three times a month. In short, they lose interest in the wild, drunken nights. And, as a result, they also lose interest in those who are still stuck in that phase of their life. This isn't to say you can never post a pic with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, but just be classy about it. A post that shows you enjoying a nice Cabaret is fine; one that shows you puking on a public sidewalk isn't all that appealing.
5. Selfies That Are Inappropriate
The bad thing about selfies is that people willingly take them anywhere: funerals, graveyards, the urologist's office. Yet, taking them in certain places can walk the fine line between being annoying to being offensive. For instance, taking a solemn selfie at Ground Zero is appropriate; taking one of you giving the "hang loose" sign or having the time of your life is not.
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