Without wishing to take things to an all time low, there is a possibility that one new technological accessory could do just that – the Belfie Stick; so named to enable people to get the best shots of their backsides in their efforts for self promotion and adoration.
Not heard of this yet? Well perhaps, social media has taken a plunge down the slippery, self-obsessed slope or maybe it is a clever tool that will help to make the selfie stick the must have of the next generation?
Andy Warhol was considered a zeitgeist and clearly appears leagues ahead of his time when he talked of everyone claiming their ‘fifteen minutes of fame’. Perhaps now, social media has taken this a step further and seen it as an avenue to exploit, regarding personal fame, with the introduction of profiles and social pages that seem saturated with self-adoration in the form of the ‘selfie’.
Over the last twelve months, the selfie stick has become a popular accessory with smartphone owners, helping literally, to extend the creative possibilities. After all, it’s about adding a touch of personal or humorous light to our every day worlds isn’t it? Sharing humorous anecdotes or personal positives is surely all about the feel good factor. As for work, it really can make very creative ‘away from the office’ e-messages and will no doubt evolve further into a clever marketing forum and extension to social media marketing.
Yet, there are many who don’t see it as a positive thing with an increasing number of global high profile venues and tourist sites recently introducing bans. More and more art galleries, museums, theatres and sporting venues, the most recent being the Sydney Opera House and Wimbledon Tennis Championships, have opted to prohibit its use. Russia has issued official public health warnings after a spate of tragic extreme selfie photos led to untimely deaths; whilst the New York Post recently ran a journalist’s photo story of a woman taking a selfie, while Police in the background were talking a man down from a suicide bid on the Brooklyn Bridge.
If personalised celebrity has become the ultimate goal, with up to the minute, individualised bulletins an essential to our very existence, then has Andy Warhol’s message now been morphed into something quite frighteningly, narcissistic and self-obsessive? Members of the paparazzi have certainly accelerated that trend, turning what previously was considered as isolated coverage of popular ‘famesters’ into a continuing media fest of coverage, even after an initial reason for the media interest has passed.
Yet, this increasing craving for popularity is only a little harmless fun for most of us and does not really qualify reasons to ban its use, surely? Maybe it is more about the potentially negative aspects on the very expensive marketing campaigns that have been developed for some of these prestigious locations? Perhaps, the truth of it lies in the fact that a selfie stick reduces the importance of the main event. An example of this was shown recently at a wedding, where the hosts requested that selfie sticks were not used as it would detract from the focus of the day, or maybe, the photographer’s schedule. If that is the case, then perhaps we are looking at the deeper psychology associated with this uncomplicated accessory and its marketing negatives. Is the selfie stick detracting from the main goal?
Without doubt the ‘selfie stick’ and now the ‘belfie stick’ are playing to an audience, but which one?
Well, if self-portraits are about self-image and how we define ourselves, they must also be a psychological concept of who we are and perhaps more importantly, who we want others to perceive us to be.
Human faces have always been extremely effective attention-grabbing devices. On Instagram, pictures with human faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes and 32 percent more likely to attract comments, than photos without faces.
It’s become somewhat common to think of those who post selfies as egotistical or vain, but one great effect of selfies is that they can bolster self-esteem. Therefore, when you consider the working environment, this has to be a win win – pictures highlighting a promotion, a new invention, a call to action. That’s great for those within a large corporation or growing business but what of those who work alone at home? Smartphones and the myriad of Apps that come with them must then be essentials.
Flexible work is on the rise globally, with the shift towards remote working now growing at a phenomenal pace.
Today’s always on the clock workforce is never in a position where it has to miss a beat in or out of the office. Taking calls, answering emails, conference calls can all be undertaken whenever they need to be in this new 24/7 world. This type of remote work is common, as more and more individuals ‘telecommute’ on full or part time bases. “Out of sight, out of mind” is redundant in the modern world with remote employees being an important cultural part of a company’s success, almost as much as their in-house office colleagues.
Now, technology enables us to get the job done irrespective of where on earth we may be, with connection to our co-workers available at any time. The business world is evolving and is embracing the amalgamation of digital and physical aspects via independent and cross functional cooperation.
The ‘digital office’ is here and very much a part of our work psychology, as we grasp new business possibilities and mobile communication apps potential. The modern business appears to be more about the speed, immediacy and technology rather than the notion of a ‘work’ place. As we see business technologies such as mobile apps advance to make life easier, the physical administrative office will become less about where work happens and more about where workers occasionally gather to discuss the issues that matter.
So, is it possible that the “office job” will vanish? Probably not, but a work place could in time, become obsolete and supplanted with a virtual, holographic alternative. If that’s the case then viewing faces via a selfie stick will certainly become more important when creating empathic business connections.
If the Belfie and Selfie truly take off in the business world, then it certainly will bring new meaning to business regarding the term of flexing one’s muscles. We’d love to hear your thoughts, or even better, see some of your best promotional selfies which we will profile.