The Impossible Selfie

Each time we scroll through our Social Media feeds, we are bound to come across a selfie. The selfie, may be of a person smiling, or frowning, or posing with puckered lips, regardless it will be front and center in our view.

Selfies are a cultural revelation. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t taken a selfie before.  Why we pose for a selfie, I can probably explain. Why we post selfies, is a bit harder to explain. If anyone cares to start a conversation about this below, I am all ears.

But today’s blog isn’t about whether we should or shouldn’t post selfies. Rather, this blog is about the part of us that no number of selfies can capture for us.

A selfie is an expression of self. A personalized form of art that captures a face and a setting. By taking a selfie, we are trying to tell the audience something. It could range from “My life is great” to “My life sucks.” We use the expression on our face or the scenery in the background to captivate our audience’s attention. With a selfie, we give our audience an artificial glimpse into our lives.

In the end, a picture is a picture, just like a mirror is a mirror. A selfie is too superficial to be of value to us.  A selfie is like the tip of an iceberg that we can see peaking above water, while most of the iceberg is invisible to us.

We cannot capture who we truly are in a photograph.  Hence, the impossible selfie are the things we wish we could capture in a picture but cannot:

  • The quality of our thoughts
  • Our ability to withstand a tragedy and bounce back
  • Our ability to feel a deep sense of empathy with those who are suffering around us
  • Our ability to stay humble in the face of success never allowing our egos to run wild
  • Our ability to stretch ourselves past our known limits.

The impossible selfie is not sexy by any means. They are the hidden intangibles in our lives that take a lifetime to build. Unlike a selfie, the impossible selfie provides no immediate gratification, but in the end, contain what really matter.

Good looks, beautiful smiles, fantastic vacation spots, are all temporary. Eventually, we will become old and too sick to travel. Our character, our values, our inner voice, are the things that stay with us until the end of our time.

As wise as Facebook’s timeline is, it will never be able to capture who we really are. So, the next time we feel the urge to take and post a selfie, take a moment to think about the intangibles that live inside of us, the things that can never be captured in any photo.  Who knows, maybe this one thought will be enough to prevent us from sharing our superficial selves with the world.


Spending too much time on Social Media will make us unhappy. Seeing too many of our friends show off their seemingly great lives, makes us believe our lives aren’t good enough.  We must remember that when we see a selfie, we have a superficial view of a complex situation. In other words, we don’t know what is going on beneath the surface.

Word to the wise, never judge a book by its cover and never judge a selfie by the size of the smile or the setting it was taken in.