You’ll find a lot of articles centered on the selfie and how it may be harmful to your love-life.
There is a ton of research on the negative effects of social media on both friendships and relationships. Often I find myself nodding my head in agreement in front of my monitor, as if to tell the article’s author, “Yes, you are totally correct!” And, generally, they do have some good topical advice on the subject. But, there is an opposite point of view: sometimes, social media can be helpful instead of harmful. And this includes turning the selfie into an usie*.
Seflies can be a sign of narcissism, or they can be a sign of simply not having an extra set of hands to operate your camera. As a single person who adds prospective and new dates to your social media outlets, this is a huge red-flag for those of us who are looking to find that special someone. And, if you are in a committed relationship and that person is linked to your social media profiles, a selfie can be seen as a form of isolation and of distancing because you aren’t including that partner in your “online life.” The simplest form of advice: avoid the single selfie if possible.
So, how do we make a selfie more than itself? By adding another person, of course! It sends positive vibes to everyone you’re socially connected to, especially the person you are with in the photo itself. And, for those of us who like to present ourselves a certain way online, it shows you have a life outside of your bathroom mirror and your camera phone.
Thus, the next time you feel the need to share with the world how much the camera loves you, remember these DOs and DON’Ts of upgrading from a selfie to an usie:
• DO include someone you love, particularly if it’s your relationship partner. Once uploaded, it can increase the confidence you both have in your relationship because you are sharing them as a part of your life with your social network. It also affirms to them that you are with them (and affirms to their exes the same thing).
• DO take an usie while doing an activity. My favorite? Going out to dinner and taking a photo of the spread on the table. When uploading, tag the other person as their plate/entrée. It removes some of the vanity associated with taking pictures and creates something a little out of the ordinary. (It will also drive all those people who hate photos of food even more nuts!)
• DON’T take a photo of you two lying in bed. Your bed is a sacred place for rest, revitalization, and recreation. Don’t invite strangers into this space that is so special to you both (unless, of course, you’re into that sort of thing… In which case, go on with your bad self!).
• DO try to have more than a 1 megapixel camera at these events. Personally, my camera phone is terrible and I’m constantly using other people’s cameras because I’m so embarrassed by the grainy quality of my own. Even Instagram filters can’t help.
• And finally, DON’T forget your relationship is about the two of you, not necessarily how you look online to your friends and family. Remember to take time to unplug and value each other in person, face-to-face. You don’t need to document the valuable cuddle-time on the couch or the two of you cooking a meal at home together. A picture is worth a thousand words, but being together and being present is priceless.
*I’m not convinced I like the term usie. But, then again, I hated the word selfie when it first caught fire. I’m sure it’ll grow on me just as every trend generally does. Regardless of my personal love or hate for particular words, the idea is what counts.
This article is written by Jenn Treado