I’m currently spending a few days in San Miguel de Allende during the largest celebration of the year for this town-SantaSemana aka Holy Week. Actually, the party goes on for two weeks and includes parties, music, food, parades of statues from local churches, visitors……and selfies.
I know that I am not a young adult who grew up in the cell phone/camera era and that selfies are not my way of life, but I’m suddenly worried. Yes, I have heard and read about our addiction (I include myself on the fringes of this category) to our phones, but the selfie bug has never bitten me. I am 100% old school and use my sweet little Fuji camera to capture moments although I do whip out the iphone to catch a quick image from time to time.
But here in San Miguel, the selfies and selfie poses RULE. I have been told that most of the people in town are tourists from other parts of Mexico with the occasional American/European tossed in for good measure. I have found this to be true. But the HUGE surprise for me is the crazy amount of selfie takers. It seems that this most sacred of weeks surrounding Jesus’ death and crucifixion has become a time to capture yourself with anything of local interest in the background. Yes, I am officially out of the loop on what is hip and trendy.
While looking for moments to capture with my camera (and I noticed very few of us doing this) the vast majority of the visitors were posing in front of churches, crosses, statues, floral tributes and anything that wouldn’t move for selfies. A large number of the young adult posers were somewhat provocatively dressed and striking Beyonce poses. You know, leg popped, hip out, chest out.
Interestingly enough, I had heard an interview just this past week on NPR with a psychologist who was studying how self-esteem indicators can relate to the number of posts and likes on Instagram and Facebook. His research showed that habitual selfie-posters spent increasingly larger amounts of time studying others’ selfies, posing options for selfies, etc, etc in order to post more of their own with a goal of increasing their likes. And that all of this exercise in seeking out approval is adding to growing depression.
Not sure if I was glad that I had heard this interview prior to noting the large number of selfie takers, but I did find myself getting a little sad noting the large number of young girls posing in tight dresses and jacked up heels in front of a reenactment of Jesus’ trial on Good Friday.
Sorry to judge. I admit that I am old. And just a little concerned.