Selfies are a phenomenon of our modern, global society. Regardless of your location on this big orbiting globe, you will find someone taking a selfie. Selfies are not limited to the younger generation, this phenomenon spans generations, cultures, and nations. It is simply a fixture of our humanness.
What is the attraction with taking selfies? I have read comments that suggest that selfies represent a society that is self-absorbed, maybe somewhat selfish or thinking only about one’s self. I don’t agree with that thought process. I see this action of capturing one’s image and sharing it confidently on social media, as an act of being open to others, inviting friendship, sharing one’s inner self through one’s outer image.
As I watch my team of nursing students take selfies on this first day in the Philippines, I am actually struck by their selflessness. These 12 young women chose to take this journey to a place where they are not familiar and to boldly share of themselves with people they do not know and likely will not ever see again. We left just a few days after a very busy semester. They are physically and mentally tired, yet they chose to travel to an unfamiliar land, where they will be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged daily.
The combination of their individual selves melds to make a unique identity as a team. I expect to see evolution of this team through our time here, but the image of this unique team and the selflessness they bring is captured forever in this “selfie”.