There are signs that the hottest fad of pop culture is having a bad year: The selfie. And I’m ecstatic.
The apex was reached, perhaps, last fall when ABC rolled out a TV show entitled, appropriately, “Selfie.” One website described the plot line this way: “A self-obsessed pharmaceutical sales rep who is megapopular on social media needs help making friends and being liked in real life, and so she turns to a marketing genius for tutelage in the series premiere of this modern take on ‘My Fair Lady.’”
Really? Who would dare use that classic 1960s movie in the same sentence as someone taking a photo of themselves while dodging traffic? It seems that comparison was overly generous. The network deleted “Selfie.”
And then others began piling on the selfie. Prince Harry a couple weeks ago stopped some kid from taking a selfie. At the French Open last week, a kid ran on the court to get a selfie with Roger Federer after his French Open match. He was promptly arrested. The lowest of the lows was Joan River’s doctor, who took one during the throat surgery she later died from.
There are books on selfies — “Selfie Secrets: The Art of Taking The Perfect Photo of Yourself, Every Time.” That literary whiz Kim Kardashian came out with her own book. Now we have the selfie stick, so you can get the perfect picture without asking anyone to take it. Because that would involve, well, conversation. Those sticks are now banned in most museums and amusement parks.
But don’t plan the selfie funeral anytime soon. Every day there are 93 million of them taken.
So naturally the ‘look at me’ culture has infiltrated the high school yearbook. It’s all about standing out and being different. One student wanted a photo of him and his cat — so he could be different. Uniformity and following one set of rules for everyone? So old-fashioned. I see where at a Nebraska high school they can pose with a firearm.
But all of this is window dressing to the latest rage: elaborate engagement proposals. “Will you marry me?” is so old-fashioned. Now it’s “will you marry me but please look into that camera over there because this is going viral and maybe I will get 10 likes.” Companies now stage proposals with marching bands, movie premieres, flash mobs, hot air balloons. It started at sporting events and has been circling the drain ever since.
Of course, these productions bear zero relevance to actually living under the same roof, sharing a common faith, raising healthy, happy children and maybe somewhere along the way giving back to society. Forget that. It’s all about the guy, putting him on a pedestal and screams of “so romantic!” coming from women as they sit on the couch, surf gossip sites and gulp kale smoothies.
The hard stuff — like working a plunger, making ends meet, in other words, life — well, that isn’t worthy of YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. The time and money spent on these silly fabrications would be better spent in a marriage prep class. Or if sitting down to learn your compatibility weaknesses is not your thing, here are some other suggestions: Take a long road trip together after a lunch stop at Taco Bell. While driving, learn that your girlfriend’s musical tastes include Yanni and Michael Bolton.
Spend a weekend with your future mother-in-law. Show patience while she shows off her Beanie Baby and Precious Moments collection. Politely inquire about the empty Boones Farm wine bottles gathered near the back door.
And if your union lasts long enough to enjoy a 25th wedding anniversary, rent an elephant, baton twirler and a Mariachi band, and then make a video worthy of your happy life together. That’s something I would gladly “like.”