TheSelfie in Digital Recursion Age

The Oxford Dictionary declared “Selfie” as the word of the yearon 18thNovember, 2013. Since then, the word has assumed the privileges thatcome with every dialogue in regard to how the digital media influencebehavior. Taking selfies, for many people, is considered a harmlessway of passing time. It has even been considered a way of capturingmoments amidst a person’s busy life, and then shares it withothers, more preferably on social media. Conversely, it is seen as asymbol of deteriorating civilization moral fabric future harbingersdystopia of digital media that could disassociate persons tocallously take a moment right in front of human atrocities to takethen share the picture.

Tome, the Selfie seems the ultimate definition of the modern agecultural artifact, has is noted from Henry Jenkins phrase as a“participatory form of culture that involves trans-mediacommunication” (Jenkins et al. 45). Based on his book “SpreadableMedia”, he shows us his initial definition of what a participatorymedia could be. Henry Jenkins’s key elements included: Strongeffort for sharing, low key barriers to participation, informalmentorship, individuals that appreciate their involvement, and thosewho care about other’s contribution. In this case, participatorycultures have a way of rewarding participation. However, Rettberg(101) noted that not everyone must believe that their participationwill be rewarded.

Viralmedia also presents one of Henry Jenkins idea of self-replicatinginformation to describe how modern artifacts, in this case, theSelfie, have been made and circulated through participatory cultureor rather viral involvement with no particular motive (NAME, PAGE).In regard to this imperative, the Selfie is not in its strict sense aself-portrait, rather, the representation of self as the system’sproduct of interpersonal relationship have ensured it is made viralof trend online. According to Miller (67), it is through theimplication of an individual’s dialogue with association networksthat “self” is realized alternatively and transfigured.

HenryJenkins’s “Spreadable Media” argues “If it does not spread,it is dead” (Jenkins et al. 76)From that, the Selfie, with all theefforts have been made to spread, especially online. This has beenachieved by how making it recapitulates the components forms of thepast photographic techniques and transforming it through digitalimaging technique and dialogue orientation. This facilitates thespectra of light into mathematical formulae and pixilated grids, withediting options, filters that use features that manipulate the gridsof the images to copy the traditional style of photographictechniques.

Inconclusion, the text perfectly describes Henry Jenkins’s idea ofspreadable media. He noted that the ability to spread was and isstill about social relations and influence. The individuals thatcreate content that is spreadable, for example Selfies, activelyencourages the users and online readers to also spread theirmaterials, which could be directly courted as the participatingindividual in the process spreading the cultural artifact. We are nowused to seeing social websites encouraging the readers to participateand appraise spreadable content.


Jenkins,Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Spreadable Media: Creating Valueand Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York: New York UniversityPress, 2013. Internet resource.

Miller,James S. Acting Out Culture: Readings for Critical Inquiry. Boston:Bedford/St. Martins, 2015. Print.

Rettberg,Jill W. Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies,Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves. Basingstoke:Palgrave Pivot, 2014. Internet resource.