#Selfies and Platform Literacy from Feb 9, 2017
“Facebook is for selfies only very rarely and for profile pics. Instagram is more selfie-friendly, and these must be aestheticized: Instagram selfies are pretty. SnapChat is a selfies free-for-all: you can let it all hang out, and not just your boobs, but also your really goofy faces … Too many selfies on Facebook and you’re a narcissist getting downvoted by your friends. The right kind of selfie on Instagram looks beautiful but not too forced: and don’t get caught Photoshopping yourself!” (np).
This alignment of platforms with certain selfie practices emphasises the micro-regulation and “visual rhetoric” of platform literacy and selfie culture vernacular (np). The created, monitored (read: policed), and disciplined “social practices” of these selfie sites maintain a distinction between ‘those-in-the-know’ (who know selfies etiquette for each particular platform) and ‘those-not-in-the-know’ (np). However, the idea of platform literacy as something to ‘know’, learn, or adopt prompts questions about access, privilege, and the future of these sites. After her talk, I was left to wonder:
- Who has access to learning these modes and norms? In this I mean, who has access after simply downloading an app (though the connections to economic, ableist privilege are definitely important here)? What social and/or digital currency/knowledge is required?
- Do these expectations and rules develop over time or will certain platforms exist always as that site for particular selfies? For example, Morrison mentioned babies and life updates are meant for Facebook. Will Facebook always be regulated by these expectations as the ‘new family photo album’?
Morrison, Aimée. “Selfies.” Blog post. Digiwonk. N.p., 29 May 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.