The Selfie

There will always be one thing that stands out as a similarity between cultures, time periods and ages: that we all have a need to be liked, approved, loved; that we all judge the people around us whether we propose our liberalism or not. The opinion of others will also have some hold on one’s identity and development and if you think I’m wrong, you’re naive about the world and the way it works. Especially our modern era where everything is about harnessing your inner Kardashian or wearing the glitzy football jersey of whatever team is ‘trending’ in 2013. With the prominence of social media, the self-important selfie is but one facet of this universe. It could truly be a bit of evidence aliens could use to study the psychology of humankind. One can try and imagine what happened hundreds of years ago when a lady commissioned a painting of herself – there was no doubt some barging in to make sure the painter lightened the skin and brushed away the wrinkles. It will always be human.

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Why else would a seemingly depressed teenage girl pose for a selfie and post it online without the need for human contact? The need for a Facebook thumbs-up or comment that enhances her own self-worth? That’s what we’ve become: something that feeds off social approval or commentary. And what better way to capture yourself in a selfie? You have the ultimate control in the end: the powers of editing and lighting and the common use of a fancy quote attached. There is a multitude of techniques of course. The ever-popular duck pout. The look-away-from-the-camera-even-though-I-know-it’s-there look or the selfie that is taken in oddball places. Like the bathroom or your car. Somehow I doubt there’s a good enough filter to make a bathroom mirror appear fancier. But, its become our age. What I’ve noticed most recently is the appearance of the actual phone in the selfie. There is no shame anymore. There seems to be a norm in giving one’s social family the thrill of a new selfie with one’s glamorous iPhone at the forefront. There’s a silly little mask we give ourselves online and where we seemingly spend most of our hours of the day because it seems a little harmless compared to normal face-to-face interaction, right? Right? We’re creating a more likable self with the common-day swag poses and peace signs that we have to adapt in order to fit in. It’s a scary thing when you actually look at the selfie in that way. Social reception is paramount and we wonder why a particular status update or tweet wasn’t wholly favourited and shared. We crave it.

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I hope it does give way but there needs to that ring of online users with the needs to post their faces and when comments quickly come back with hailing approvals, there is usually a humble, ashamed bit of thanks – almost like the post itself was unintended. Whether its a moody writer face you’re going with or one to show off your new specs, the real reason you’re grabbing a selfie is to create yourself. We’ve all done it. We take a selfie, delete it, retake, delete, filter, edit, delete. It could be for your own personal entertainment or to use your phone camera as a mirror. It could also be your way to fit in. And everybody does it. Even Justin Bieber.

In the year of the selfie, you’re probably all thinking that this post is about you. Remember if you’re going to dive into the selfie, have fun. You might just stand out.

P.S: How’d I do? (Blackberry is a clear fail of society, isn’t it?)

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#Fiestagram Competition

Who wants a 2013 Ford Fiesta? You should. I got a 2012 edition a few months ago and its one of the best riding experiences I have had. Obviously I paid for it but this competition seems a little easier. Also, the 2013 Fiesta has a brand new design.

Ford has launched an online competition that will give photography fans from across South Africa a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of a new Ford Fiesta, one of Ford’s best-selling small cars.

Called the #Fiestagram Photo Competition, the contest challenges photography enthusiasts to upload photos in several categories inspired by the all-new technologies and features of the new Ford Fiesta which will be launched in South Africa in early 2013. Get your interpretation of the theme and you could win. Simple.

“Most of today’s modern mobile phones are capable of taking high-quality digital pictures,” explains Gavin Golightly, Ford Marketing Manager. “South Africa is a beautiful country, rich in culture that lends itself to beautiful photographic interpretation. Our cars are about freedom and expression, style and smart technology which are all core to today’s photographic enthusiast.”


In the coming weeks, contestants will be encouraged to capture and interpret a weekly theme as a photograph and subsequently share it or upload it via Instagram, the popular application allows users to take fast, beautiful photos and easily share them with friends; Facebook; or Ford’s specially developed website www.fiestagram.co.za.To be eligible the images must be submitted with the hashtag #Fiestagram and the relevant weekly theme hashtag.

Each week one winner will be selected by celebrity judges, Tamara Dey (www.twitter.com/tamaraday), Liam Lynch (www.twitter.com/liamlynchphoto) and the collective behind ISeeADifferentYou (www.twitter.com/iseedifferent), Justice Mukheli, Innocent Mukheli  and Vuyo Mpantsha who are all social photography aficionados in their own right.

“We wanted to run a competition which would resonate with our existing Facebook fans, the wider Instagram community and photography fans in general,” says Golightly.

The contest is divided into six categories inspired by the unique features and technologies that define the new Ford Fiesta including the efficient technology embraced in Ford’s acclaimed 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine; smart technology like keyless entry and keyless-go and Ford’s applauded SYNC™ in-car connectivity system for mobile phones and music devices.

The exact themes will be revealed on Facebook and Twitter every Monday for the next six weeks and participants can interpret the categories in any way they wish. Entrants can make use any of the filters and effects available on Instagram, the Facebook app or www.fiestagram.co.za to enhance the mood and feel of their images.

Weekly winners will receive a Lomo LC-A+ camera and go into the final that will see the six weekly winners participate in an Instawalk in February 2013. The photographs from the Instawalk will be showcased in a photographic exhibition at the end of February 2013 where the final winner of the new Ford Fiesta will be chosen.

The competition is currently running on the Ford South Africa Facebook page www.facebook.com/FordSouthAfrica and on www.fiestagram.co.za