“The Wand Of Narcissism” – Don Charisma’s Opinion


In the good old days to get a self-portrait out of camera, you had to either be very dexterous or ask a passer-by. The passer-by option was a little risky in some places, because thieves might just run off with one’s camera. Cut to present day – with Facebook profiles desperate to be fed with endless photos of faces, and welcome “The Selfie Stick”.

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I made joke with a friend last night about his use of his Selfie Stick (all in good humour). He emailed me today with an article on the self-portrait accessory for cameras and smart-phones – from which I now know it’s funny name – THE WAND OF NARCISSISM, cracked me up, still chuckling to myself to be honest 😀

Here in Asia the Asians use them a lot with smart-phones, presumably to feed their Facebook addictions. I don’t know if Europe, UK and USA are now using them or not ? I’m sure you guys will clue me in.

So question is – is taking photos of oneself narcissistic or just saving the hassle of getting someone else to do it for us ?

and … don’t you feel a bit of a dumbass/tit using one ?

Cheers

Don Charisma

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70 thoughts on ““The Wand Of Narcissism” – Don Charisma’s Opinion

  1. Few days back while I was vacationing, I stopped at a beautiful landscape popular for the view it offers at sunset. While I was enjoying the tranquility of the scene and pondering on its symbolism, a group of young college grads came and sat with their back towards the aesthetic scene; out came the monopod and the rest can be guessed..

    What kind of society are we moving towards? Where every waking moment is spent building up and enhancing a digital personality, one which probably doesn’t have any semblance to our true selves? Where is the art of communication going? And most importantly, where is this headless and baseless love for oneself going to lead us eventually? Our society is already fragmented on so many lines, do we need more inflated egos?

    But all said, its a brilliant commercial project and whoever invented it got the market fundas damn right!

  2. I do believe that the word ‘narcissistic’ is taken out of context these days. There is a difference between taking ‘selfies’ and being totally self absorbed.
    From another perspective, I think the rise of selfies is not a totally bad thing seeing that many of the family photographers from the past were seldom seen in photos. I also like the idea of being able to take a photo of yourself in tourist places etc without having to bother someone passing by to take the photo for you.
    I think whoever made the ‘selfie stick’ is on to a serious money maker in the short term.

  3. the Asians use them a lot with smart-phones, presumably to feed their Facebook addictions. I don’t know if Europe, UK and USA are now using them or not ? What makes you think non-Asians are immune to this addictions?

    BTW, I’ve never taken a selfie myself, so I don’t feel a bit of a dumbass/tit.

    1. What makes you think that I think that non-Asians are immune to these addictions ?

      You’re reading something between the lines, that I actually didn’t say !

      I have, and felt a bit odd, but the result is on the footer of this blog, see for yourself 😀

  4. Love the name! Not sure I would name a product I wanted sell that, but still an #AWEsome name. I am not realie a selfie fan. I’m more the stalker kind of photographer. I like to take pictures of people going about their day with natural experssions, not posed ones. Needless to say, I do love my telephoto zoom lense 🙂

    1. You and me both on that … my subjects often tend to be flowers or sunsets anyway, and they don’t perceive one as a “stalker” ! … oh and outside the west people seem happier to have the photos taken too 😀

  5. Hello Don Charisma,
    I used to take a lot more selfies in the past. Today, not so much. I feel I have grown beyond the need to show everyone my very best and funniest sides. Some ppl literally seem to post selfies almost every day! Narcissism? Or maybe the need to self-affirm, because there is a lack of self-confidence. Maybe I have lack of self-confidence about my appearance these days (Medical issues have contributed to that); however, I am more confident about my abilities and being able to engage in intelligent conversation than ever… Yes, I have heard of selfie sticks, here in the USA, but I do not know anyone that uses them. I wonder, if certain age groups are more prone to using one? I am 38…

    1. Well does seem to be the teens – 20s I think that are using them most in Asia … as for the narcissistic aspect, more funny for me than serious … there are some reasons for taking selfies are that are definitely of benefit to others … so hard to say one way or another 😀

  6. I have never taken a selfie and the even the thought of doing so makes me cringe, but I enjoy seeing other’s on Facebook and the like so I have no issue with it. I’m the quiet, reserved type and others are outgoing. Selfies just seem to be an extension of personality and that’s fine. Some are probably narcissists but they would find a way to be the center of attention with or without selfies anyway.

  7. Ha ha ha! I’m guilty but I wouldn’t go as far as ordering a selfie-stick aka ‘the wand of narcissism’. In Kenya we also have groundies and climbies:-D

  8. The selfie takers never seem to be aware of where they are.
    Too busy taking the picture to actually be present. Like parents too busy videoingthe performance to actually watch it!
    Sandy
    Vajrablue.com

    1. LOL, I saw a Japanese tourist in Prague photographing everything inside a beautiful cathedral and not actually looking at anything … I’ve since done photography myself, and well, there’s a temptation to take a lot of photos in order to get that “one” shot …

  9. Brought one along for our travel, it was alittle awkward using it.
    It is like everyone has to make way for that Wand of ours. Haha. Once in awhile….

  10. I’m not one for taking selfies…I know what I look like so why bother? My daughter and her fiancée take quite a few selfies of themselves and send them to me. Usually they’re making goofy faces. I must confess that I enjoy receiving them…they make me smile.

    1. Yes, was pointed out to me that there are “positive” reasons for taking selfies, so bit unfair to label people narcissists … I just thought the wand of narcissism was funny !

      1. So did I, though I was unaware of the term before your post. I find it a fitting title since many people here in the USA seem to be obsessed with their appearance and being “noticed”.

        Best Regards,
        Eric

  11. So its proper name is the Wand of Narcissism? That makes so much sense now. They use them here in the USA, alright. I’ve seen a few, and they look so weird. The way the people were using them made it look like it was a fishing pole for people.

    1. Well it’s a slightly critical nickname, the proper name is “selfie stick” I think … probably you’ll be seeing more, Asians lead this kind of thing and they use them a lot in Tourist places here …

  12. I ordered a selfie stick a few months ago as I am always the photographer and therefore, never in the pics. If I can get into one, then it’s just terrible. I have only used it once. It’s a great conversational piece here in the usa. If anything, it can help you meet the locals and get great recommendations on what to do in the area.

    1. LOL, I’ve used my monopod a little more than that (don’t have a wand of narcissism as yet !) … and yes I had people approach me in London, when I was using my monopod, it’s different which attracts interest 😀

  13. Love this post and the humor with which you made your point. Selfies. Crazy business. The US has a fascination with themselves and some people are not smart enough to use discretion.

    Thanks for the morning chuckle.
    Leslie

    1. You’re welcome, my friend send me the link and I burst out laughing … I think you’ll be seeing more selfie sticks, the Asians use them all the time … so probably just a matter of time 😀

  14. I would feel very self conscious about taking a picture of myself and posting it on the web for all to see and judge. And yet when I see other people do it I’m fine with it but for some reason I fear other people not being fine with me doing it. I think there are two types of people in the world…

    1. Yes, I can see that, makes sense … I don’t think it’s exactly a male/female thing, but I do remember the ladies in my family in days gone by would spend hours looking at photos together … so that I think is the success behind “Facebook” … clue’s in the name “Face”-book 😀

  15. narcissistic or not, I’m not sure that’s the issue. What I don’t get is what story a selfie tells other than your self. I don’t really care how people look like, I care more about what people say and which story they want to tell other people. I don’t see how a selfie or several selfies can do that. A selfie is a blank paper for me. No stories to “read”. The day we can produce selfies of our thoughts, then it begins to be interesting but also scary 😉

    1. I take selfies occasionally I tend to only like pics of me that I take myself but I’m not obsessive about it.

      Personally I am fascinated by some of the things you can see through a series of selfies. A previous commenter said that selfies don’t tell a story. In my opinion that is not strictly true. One selfie alone may not, but a series of selfies is very different. I saw a series of pictures taken by a woman. One pic every day for a whole year. She starts out happy and smiling at the camera but her expression soon changes as the year progresses. She starts to look tired, sad, then miserable. Finally, bruises start appearing on her face. It was a story of spousal abuse told through 365 selfies.

      Another I have seen was a woman taking regular selfies in the mirror whilst losing weight. In the earlier photos she doesn’t look into the mirror but focuses on her phone. She isn’t smiling. As the pictures progress, she starts looking at her reflection, smiling, and even standing taller. The change in her confidence due to the weight she was losing was apparent in her body language. Another story told by selfies. Sometimes it’s just “look at me!” But other times selfies can tell stories and make art. It all depends on why you take them and what you do with them.

      1. Well said, and yes depends on motivation behind it … to me, I just thought it was funny “the wand of narcissism” …

        I saw a blog where the lady was posting selfies of her shoes and legs in different settings … kind of like a POV of what she can actually see herself … was quite interesting 😀

      2. I bought a monopod a few months back (not for taking selfies) … it attracts a bit of attention because it’s different … I bought it because it duals up as walking stick, very portable (telescopic) and I can use it to prevent blurry photos, ie steady the camera … also great for video … and setup time is much quicker than tripod …probably could use it for “wand of narcissism” too … but then I don’t often take selfies 😀

  16. Taking a selfie doesn’t in itself make one a narcissist. Narcissism is a complex personality disorder characterised by many different sets of behaviours .

    Of course narcissists might take selfies but a selfie does not a narcissist make.

    People who take selfies are better described as sheep.

    1. I agree with groomsdaybook on narcissism. Selfies are something a narcissist might enjoy, but I also think there are other reasons people may take them.
      On the flip side, I’ve read some articles online trying to say that taking selfies is some big empowering act, and I don’t quite buy that it’s inherently that either, though it could be in some cases.

  17. I may sound weird but I simply don’t like taking pics of myself whether they are selfies or photos otherwise.
    I don’t really have a reason but get very annoyed when anyone takes my pics even if it is family. 😐

  18. I don’t think it’s narcissistic. Most of the people I know that flood their walls with selfies are those that are looking for validation. The truly narcissistic are out there letting others take pictures of them.

  19. It’s completely narcissistic. Vacation photos have gone from “look where I went and what I saw” to “Look at me! Look at me!” Everyone wants the validation of a like or comment. I have a Master’s in Psychology and once wrote a kick ass paper on narcissism. The selfie absolutely fits. Narcissists are not arrogant over confident jerks. They’re insecure people who don’t feel like they exist unless there actions are validated by others. Of course writing a blog is completely narcissistic too, so who are we to criticize?

  20. I’m not much into the selfie myself. Although I do admit to getting a kick out of playing with the kind of ideas Cindy Sherman plays with (http://www.cindysherman.com/) in her photography. I’ve been aware of the cultural concept that photography steals the subjects soul. So, I suppose, in that sense, it’s better to take your own. 😉

  21. Ha ha lol… Here’s where I get embarrassed… I ordered one and it arrived this morning!!! 😳
    And honestly… Will I use it? I don’t kniw, but my daughter will most probably get much joy out if it!!!

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