Simona Barca

Traveling through selfies

In this article, Cardell argues that selfies are a form of travel writing and add to the cultural narrative of travel. This is a refutation of the generally accepted societal notion that looks down on selfies. The notion that selfies somehow pollute and decrease the value of  the travel narrative. Nobody wants to be the tourist with the selfie stick. But Cardell argues that selfies actually show a more authentic view of the places where they are taken because they tell the story of the person in the selfie in the context of the location. It’s a form of “autobiographical travel” without the pages and pages of text, months or even years of writing and editing until publishing, and without the cost of publishing a book. Instead, this is the experience of the average traveler in a snapshot. Cardell also refutes the idea that selfies are always vain and self-centered. In the example of the selfie at Anzac Cove, the selfie-taker is looking away from the camera and into the water, so that the attention isn’t on her but on the location behind her. In the caption, she also makes sure to describe to her audience where she is and the significance of the place. By purposefully taking attention away from her by looking away from the camera, she emphasizes her surroundings and what she’s looking at, which achieves the goal she is looking for: turning her audience’s attention to Anzac Cove.

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