Love your selfie

As I sit here typing this column, I have recently read on social media that today is National Selfie Day. I will admit that while I think having a national day of something every day of the year is a little much (National VCR Day, National Take a Hike with a Geek Day, National Ballpoint Pen Day) but at the same time I enjoy participating in them (tomorrow is National Onion Ring and Chocolate Éclair Day — yes please!) But back to today, National Selfie Day!

If you know me well then you know that it is unsafe to leave your cell phone unattended in my presence. I have a bad habit of taking a lot of selfies on phones. Most include my mouth open and my tongue out. If the phone is completely unlocked then it is pretty much a guarantee that I have posted one of those selfies on the owner’s social media. It brings me joy! 

Selfies have become such a phenomena that some celebrities have made money off of books with nothing but selfies in it. I heard the other day someone talking about the differences between today’s generation and mine and how this generation does not understand the concept that phones at one time did not come with self-facing cameras. We used to carry separate cameras and phones were just for calls and texts. Then we could use our phones to take pictures of the world around us. Now we use the phone to take pictures of the world behind us.

I do not think that selfies are necessarily a bad thing but I also think that having constant access to pictures of ourselves can lead to us forgetting about the world outside of ourselves. Yes, God created us in His image and likeness and the Spirit of God dwells within each of us but I think we also need a reminder that the Spirit of God dwells in everything around us as well. When we get too absorbed in ourselves, we tend to not focus on God and what He wants from us. We become navel gazers and lose sight of everything around us, and it just becomes a part of the background. 

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The other problem with selfies is that it can also lead us to question the fact that we are created in the image of God. So many of us take several selfies just to get one that we can post on social media. The other ones we discard as if that image is not a reflection of the One Who created us. Then we wait to see how many likes and comments we will get with that selfie. We worry about what others will think of the best image of ourselves. This can start to break down the way we see ourselves. 

I said though that I do not think that selfie taking is a bad thing. We can use our selfies to bring an awareness of the greatness of God. Of course while writing this I did what any good writer would do and Googled “selfie prayer” and I found a website that is called thefaceofprayer.com. It is run by the Diocese of Bridgeport. They have started a movement where you use your selfie to be “the face of prayer.” What a great idea! You can log onto that website to find out how to participate but I also challenge all of us to use our selfies to be a face of prayer! Have a great summer and celebrate all the fun national days and remember to love your selfie as the face of prayer!

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” Prov 31:25.

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at atarantelli@bishopstang.org.


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