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To Selfie or Not To Selfie

Everyone’s doing them. James Franco wrote about them in The New York TimesThey even have their own song!

Selfies are one of the most joked-about aspects of camera phones and social media. We all know that person whose epic duck face becomes the butt of all our jokes.

But kidding aside, selfies can also be a useful tool for artists. A lot of artists I talk to feel hesitant about posting selfies online, and they come up with all sorts of excuses not to do it, leaving a great wealth of social media material untapped. Here are a few common hesitations and their rebuttals.

Lame Excuse #1: Selfies feel really self-centered!

Have you ever had a crush on someone in the age of Facebook? Cycling through their photos is an impossible death trap. You’re completely smitten all over again when you see that picture of them back from high school prom. Oh, and what’s that? A new photo of your sweetie taken five minutes ago? You’re not thinking “Ugh, they’re posting about themselves again!” You have an immediate, visceral reaction of “What joy! Why aren’t we together?! Ahhhhhhhhhh!”

Your fans don’t all have crushes on you (I hope, because otherwise that would be a lot of stalkers to manage). But think about it: they’re following you because they want to hear more about you, and that includes seeing pictures of what you look like day-to-day. If they’re a big fan, unexpectedly seeing your face will give them a little rush of glee.

Lame Excuse #2: Selfies are self-promotional!

Yeah, selfies are self-promotional. But the five times you’ve posted about your new film or the seven thousand times you’ve invited fans to a show haven’t been self-promotional? You’re an artist. Unfortunately for most sensitive souls, being an artist also means tooting your own horn. Selfies are just another tool in your arsenal to make sure people are aware of you and your work.

Lame Excuse #3: My arms are too short to take selfies! (Yes, this is a real excuse I’ve heard.)

You don’t have to take literal selfies! It’s not against the rules of the Internet to have someone take pictures of you. There should just be pictures of you in your feed somewhere. It’s a reminder to your fan base that you’re a real person, not a one-dimensional posting robot.

Lame Excuse #4: Selfies are frivolous!

You are part of your art. Whether you like or it or not, your appearance affects others’ perceptions of your work. Ideally they’re rooting for, or maybe jealous of, the person behind the product. In any case, your image is not frivolous, so you might as well control that by posting pictures of yourself looking how you’d like people to see you.

Now send me your selfie! It’s Internet speak for saying Hello.

Published in Social Media

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