Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
Millennials are definitely smitten with the idea of selfies, but does that mean we should pay for our narcissism? And, we're not talking pay in the metaphorical sense — we're talking cold, hard cash. Some Brigham Young University students think so. Worried by the growing trend of self-obsession on social media, a group of BYU undergrads came up with the idea that people who take selfies “owe humanity a dollar,” according to their website. The goal of the project? To create a way for selfie-takers to donate $1 to charity, so that a so-called selfish act could be matched with a selfless one.
And so, the Selfie Police was born. The idea: If someone tags your pic with #selfiepolice, you visit the site, donate a dollar, and then call out your Insta friends by commenting with the hashtag. The hope is that tagged Instagrammers will be curious about the hashtag, visit the site, and continue the cycle. The proceeds go to Vittana, an organization that provides student loans to college-aged individuals in third-world countries.
Although the sentiment and the effort are admirable, we have our doubts as to whether this will catch on. Are the type of people who take regular self-portraits also the type of people who can be shamed into donating? It might not be the smartest move to accuse someone of being selfish, and then ask them to give to charity — just saying. But, the Selfie Police have raised over $1,600 to date, so perhaps the movement will be successful after all. And, if it cuts down on the number of pouty-lipped selfies in our Insta feed, the world will definitely be a better place. (PSFK)