News & Views
Selfies reach critical mass

The Oscars selfie. Celeb-spotting selfies. Make-up free selfies. Funeral selfies. It is official; not a single moment in our lives can pass without being documented à la duckface. If you need further proof that we are at selfie saturation, just take a look at these news stories from the last few days.

Microsoft releases a ‘selfie phone’

Microsoft unveiled a new range of flagship Nokia phones at IFA 2014 in Berlin this week, including the selfie-centric Lumia 730. One of its USPs is a wide-angle, front facing camera lens, which will enable the user to fit more people into a group shot. Which is great for selfie addicts, but could also be seen as Microsoft squandering the potential of its acquisition. “Of all the things Microsoft could do with Nokia’s phone-making division, following the Lumia’s playbook is probably the most boring,” says Pando Daily’s Nathaniel Mott. “Instead of getting a peek at what Nokia’s smartphone division could create without having to work with an also-ran operating system, we got yet another Lumia smartphone.”

Ryder Cup lifts ‘selfie ban’

Apparently it is impossible to enjoy a major sporting event without Instagramming the hell out of it. So goes the logic behind the Ryder Cup organisers’ decision to repeal their intended social media embargo. The event hosts released a statement this week backtracking on their original wishes to prevent attendees from posting pics to the web:

“Social media interaction, photography and the sharing of content are all going to be encouraged at the 2014 Ryder Cup. Ryder Cup Europe has moved to reassure spectators that they will be allowed to take photos and video on their mobile phones during the event, and will be encouraged to share their experiences on social networks.”

The Queen isn’t a fan of camera phones

Selfies have countless famous supporters, from Kim Kardashian to Ellen DeGeneres. But one lady isn’t so keen; Her Majesty the Queen, who is reported to have told US Ambassador Matthew Barzun that she finds it “strange” to see mobile phones when she looks up, instead of human faces. “She was essentially saying, ‘I miss eye contact,’” says Barzun.

Food for thought, that. While our first instinct might be to take a snapshot of a moment, perhaps it is better etiquette (and more personal) for us to put our phones away and simply enjoy the experience? If it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for me.

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