Take a selfless selfie instead

VERBAL VARIETY - Anne Fe Perez - The Freeman

According to the urban dictionary, the word "selfie" is a picture taken by you intended to be posted on any social networking website. An indication of a typical selfie is the person's arm holding out the camera accompanied by a kissy face or eyes looking in another direction.

We are all familiar with selfies. They are seen in almost every social media site we go to. The birth of the selfie did not irk me. At some point, I enjoyed posting them once in a while just like my friends would. The older generation might have not understood it at first, but such photos make social networking sites normal. Social media is soft advertising, hence the need to look good in every update.

Selfies only get annoying when they are uploaded in one album with almost the same poses and the same location or are posted every hour. Seriously, nobody needs to know how you look by the hour. On a lighter note, I find selfies useful when it comes to knowing how your long lost friend looks like. It also serves as a fashion reference for those who want to know what the trend is.

With the recent events from the Super Typhoon Yolanda, the gloomy atmosphere on social media made it irrelevant for posting selfies. What was more important to post were information on how the typhoon wrecked eastern Visayas and northern Cebu and how these place are coping. As an avid photo enthusiast, I refrained from posting photos of food and faces to pay my respects to the victims. Instead, I did my share of information dissemination by sharing important and inspiring messages.

However, some people do not get this sentiment. Selfies continue despite what our fellowmen are going through. There goes an insensitive act for the ego's fulfillment.

Although it is none of my business to impose on these people who are so narcissistic in times of calamity, I am just concerned about the selfies done at relief operations. Instead of being busy repacking and lifting goods for the speedy relief of our fellowmen, some are laughing and making weird faces with boxes of goods at the background.

Time is of the essence especially in these times of need. While a few minutes were wasted on poses in front of the camera, a number of mouths are waiting for food to arrive. Families are getting desperate to eat and ultimately, survive. It has been more than a week since the typhoon ravaged their areas. We are lucky we still have food to eat while they have none. Will photos of your face make the workload faster? Will it bring a smile to thousands of families who have no idea how to spend their Christmas? I don't think so. You were spared, now give back selflessly.

This isn't the time to show off your good deed or wallow in false reportage on Facebook. It isn't even a jolly time to eat lavishly as others don't have anything to eat. Instead, have the intent to inspire so a lot of people will get back on their feet to help restore our country. Who else will help each other but us?  That's how we Filipinos roll.

By today several relief goods have been sent to the areas and victims have been evacuated out of the area. Have a little heart and help out rather than being vain. Your people need you to work so make your time worthwhile. The visual sense is a very powerful one. It allows you to see beyond the picture allowing one to empathize. A selfie will not explain anything at all. Take photos to inspire, not to show off - at least not now.

* * *

A big thank you to everybody who helped UP Cebu in achieving the goal of packing more than 15,000 goodie bags for our affected brothers and sisters. Keep the Bayanihan spirit burning!


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