What Good is a Selfie? Let’s Ask James Franco

Now that selfies have entered the official lexicon, have they become somewhat legitimized?

Perhaps previously seen only as a by-product of a digitally self-involved culture, selfies are maturing and, arguably, gaining meaning as a form of visual shorthand. Or, so says James Franco.

Now, I confess, I have never been drawn to selfies.

But this recent essay by the “King of Selfies”, James Franco, explores the implications of these first-person-shooter photos in an interesting way: from the empowered perspective of a paparazzi-mobbed celebrity.

Say what you will about Franco, but like most Yale-graduate students, he’s no dummy. A celebrity that has come of age in the public eye, he has a firm grasp on the social media forms that mature — as he does — with everyone watching.

I’m not saying that the future of language will evolve to a level of selfie cuneiform, where pouting head-shots come to replace the written word, but I do think that how we use communication tools will come to direct, rather than reflect, the new ways that people are speaking.

In short, we are evolving. And so are our selfies.

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