I learned about 0.5 Selfies from my friend Luke, back in Kent. It was one of our last Life Group gatherings of the school year. He showed me (and the rest of the group) the way that these wide-angle, distorted images are supposed to be kind of funny and awkward. But also kind of cool and memorable. I still don’t completely get it. Nevertheless, I’ve really seen the popularity of 0.5 Selfies soar out here, in Colorado. Apparently, it’s a pretty widespread phenomenon. I like observing cultural trends like this. I’m here for “The Summer of 0.5 Selfies.” But I’m still trying to figure out why this is a thing.
Could it be that today’s young people feel dwarfed by public health disasters and economic crises — to the point that they feel they can only laugh along with the joke? Could it be that this generation of college students feels so distorted by the rancorous public debate and outright indignation towards one another that they can only squint and stare to register their disillusionment?
“OK, Boomer…” I can hear them saying (even though I’m an Xer). They’d probably prefer to keep my psychoanalysis at arm’s length, just like the cameras on their iPhones. Still, I’m watching and wondering.
In the meantime, I’m having fun with photography. Some of the enormous vistas in the Rocky Mountains are actually captured more effectively with the wide-angle lens (which is why the technology was originally developed). So, I’m honestly glad to know about this feature that has been built into my smartphone. And I’m going to have a lot of unique pictures by which to remember the weird and wonderful people and places from this Summer of 0.5 Selfies.