In chapter three, “Serial Selfies” from the book Seeing Our Selves through Technology by Jill Walker Rettberg, is divided into four different topics. Each topic explains different ways of self-representation with selfies. Starting with Cumulative self-representation, dictionary.com defines cumulative as, “increasing, or growing by accumulation or successive additions.” In chapter three it talks about different ways selfies are cumulative by a weblog or through social media feeds. Which brings us to the next heading, Time Lapse selfies, meaning people sometimes tend to post before and after pictures, continuing to do so while turning back to watch the progress that was made when they first started uploading the pictures. For example, when women take selfies of their stomach when they are pregnant, they do a time-lapse from first to last trimester. Another way people use selfies or a way as self-representation is what picture they use for profile photos as a visual identity. “Profile photos are part of a serial and cumulative visual communication” (Rettberg, 40) A profile picture can tell a lot about someone. Lastly, in chapter three, the last section talks about automatic portraits, photo booths being used as art, and why people take more than one selfie.
A specific part I would like to take a closer look is what kind of things people are posting or creating their social media pages. A story that is given in this chapter is from a book called, “It’s Complicated (2014).” “Danah Boyd writes about a young African American from South Central Los Angeles who wrote a college application letter about how he longed to get away from the gangs in his neighborhood, but had a Myspace account filled with gangs related imagery. The college admissions office contacted boyd, assuming that the Myspace account represented the young mans true identity and asking why he would lie in his admissions essay when it was easy to find his ‘true’ self online. It’s not that simple, boyd argue in her book, writing that he probably felt that not to show membership in a gang would be outright dangerous” (Rettberg, 41, 42). My thought was, why didn’t the boy mention his Myspace account right away in the college application letter? I think that would have cleared the confusion. When I was a Lead Therapist also known as a manager, I looked at applicants social media accounts and references before continuing the hiring process. When people dig deeper before letting someone in their school or workplace, they want to make sure it is a safe step and if they will be a good fit. When you aren’t sincere right away, it becomes hard to determine that.
“This chapter looks at visual self-representational genres that are strongly serial: time-lapse selfie videos, profile photos in social media, and photobooths, one of the closest pre-digital precedents of today’s selfies”
Cumulative: increasing or growing by accumulation or successive additions
Frivolous: characterized by lack of seriousness or sense
Surrealism: as ‘psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, or in writing, or in any other manner, the actual functioning of thought’ (1969, 26)
Photomaton: An automatic device that provides you, in exchange for five-france tokens, with a strip of eight attitudes caught in photographs
Metonyms: a word used for metonymy