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我们为什么热爱自拍?

更新时间:2019/7/12 19:49:47 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

It’s Easy to Hate Selfies. But Can They Also Be a Force for Good?
我们为什么热爱自拍?

This month, when earthquakes rocked Southern California on back-to-back days, it was a visceral reminder that we may one day experience the “Big One,” a quake with the power to kill and destroy.

本月南加州连遭地震,人们本能地联想到,我们某天可能会经历“一次大的”、具有杀伤力和破坏力的地震。

A few people saw something else: a photo opportunity.

有几个人看到的却是:一次拍照机会。

Tourists flocked to a large crack in a highway to see evidence of the damage for themselves and, of course, take a quick selfie.

一群游客涌到某条公路的一个大裂缝旁,亲身查看地震所致破坏的证据,当然了,也快速自拍了一张。

It was only the latest example of how our modern love of sharing photos we take of ourselves in notable situations is colliding with nature and the world, often in perplexing and even dangerous ways.

这只是再一次表明,我们现代人热衷的重大时刻自拍分享,往往以令人困惑甚至危险的方式,与大自然和世界发生怎样的碰撞。

In Canada, a sunflower farm barred visitors last year after selfie-seekers destroyed flowers and left the land looking like a “zombie apocalypse.” In Spain, a man was gored in the neck last weekend while trying to take a video selfie at the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona.

在加拿大,在自拍者毁掉花枝、让花地变成“僵尸启示录”一般的景象后,一个向日葵农场于去年阻止游客进入。在西班牙,上周末潘普洛纳一年一度的奔牛节上,一名男子在试图拍摄自拍视频时颈部被刺穿。

The selfie phenomenon entered the mainstream after Apple and other phonemakers added front-facing cameras starting in 2010, the same year Instagram and other photo-sharing apps were becoming popular. From 2011 to 2017, more than 250 people died while taking selfies, according to a study by researchers in India, which had by far the highest number of such deaths, followed by Russia and the United States. Many died after drowning, falling or being attacked by an animal. Most were under the age of 30.

自苹果公司及其他手机制造商于2010年开始增加前置摄像头以来,自拍现象进入了主流,同年,Instagram和其他照片分享应用开始流行。据印度研究人员的一项研究,从2011年至2017年,超过250人在自拍过程中身亡,印度的这类死亡人数最多,其次是俄罗斯和美国。许多人因溺水、坠落或被动物袭击身亡。其中大多在30岁以下。

All of it paints a picture of a self-obsessed online culture hellbent on getting the perfect shareable photo to feed its vanity. With each like, we feel better about ourselves. But there is no denying the intrinsic draw of the selfie, which feeds so many of the most vulnerable parts of ourselves: our innate attraction to images of human faces instead of landscapes or objects, our nostalgia for capturing memories, and yes, our need for social approval.

所有这些描绘出的景象,是一种一心想要拍出可分享的完美照片,以满足虚荣心的自我陶醉性网络文化。每收到一个赞,我们的自我感觉都更良好。但自拍的内在吸引力无可否认,它能满足我们自身如此多最脆弱的部分:我们天生易受人脸画面而非风景或物体的吸引,我们捕捉记忆的怀旧情结,还有,没错,我们对社会认可的需要。

It’s easy to be uncomfortable with selfies and even mock them, especially when they’re risky or in bad taste. But some researchers have explored different questions: Why do we take selfies? Can they ever be a healthy form of expression? Can selfies be used for good?

时常会有自拍让我们感觉不自在,我们甚至会加以嘲笑,特别是对那些很冒险或低俗的自拍。但一些研究人员却探索了另外一些问题:我们为什么会自拍?究竟能否有一种健康的表达形式?自拍能用在好的方面吗?

“Narcissism is one thread,” said Jesse Fox, an associate professor of communication at Ohio State University, who has studied how people use selfies and social media. In one study, she found that characteristics of narcissism and psychopathy predicted the number of selfies men ages 18 to 40 posted on social media.

“自恋是一条线索,”俄亥俄州立大学(Ohio State University)传媒学副教授杰西·福克斯(Jesse Fox)说,她一直在研究人们如何使用自拍和社交媒体。她在一项研究中发现,自恋和精神病态特征可以预测18岁至40岁男性在社交媒体上发布的自拍数量。

But she said the need for social approval and support is universal.

但她表示,社会认可和支持是普遍需要。

“We all have levels of insecurity,” Dr. Fox said. “When someone is like, ‘Here is my cancer selfie,’ you are feeling vulnerable right now. You need that social support. That is not saying you are a narcissist for putting it out on social media.”

“我们都有不同程度的不安全感,”福克斯说。“当有人说‘这是我的癌症自拍’时候,他其实是感到脆弱。他需要那种社会支持。不是说你把它放到社交媒体上,你就是个自恋的人。”

After all, people have been making self-portraits for centuries, in remarkably similar ways. The 16th-century artist Parmigianino famously painted a portrait of himself with his arm extended. A self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn, a 17th-century Dutch artist, shows an expression similar to the classic “duckface” selfie. And during the Italian renaissance, at least one artist used a self-portrait for “calling cards,” as a way to market their work.

毕竟,人们几个世纪以来都在创造自画像,方式也颇为相似。16世纪的画家帕尔米贾尼诺(Parmigianino)曾画过一幅左臂前伸的著名自画像。17世纪荷兰画家伦勃朗·范·莱茵(Rembrandt van Rijn)的一幅自画像上,就有类似常见的“嘟嘴”自拍的表情。意大利文艺复兴时期,至少有一名画家曾用自画像作名片,作为推销作品的一种方式。

Since the term “selfie” first caught on — it was the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013 — researchers have identified three types of selfie-takers.

“自拍”一词是《牛津字典》2013年的年度词汇,自该词初次流行开来,研究人员已指出有三类自拍者。

There are communicators, who want to have a two-way conversation (for example, a post with an “I Voted” sticker to encourage civic engagement); autobiographers, who document their lives for their own purposes, rather than seeking feedback or compliments (a selfie at home with a favorite coffee mug, or a photo at the Grand Canyon); and self-publicists, who want to build a brand and positively curate an image (à la the Kardashians).

其中有沟通型,他们想要双向的交谈(例如,戴着“我投票了”的徽章发一张自拍是为了鼓励公民参与);自传型,他们出于自身的目的记录自己的生活,而不是寻求反馈或赞美之词(在家中和最喜爱的咖啡杯来张自拍,或在大峡谷拍张照);还有自我宣传型,他们想要建立品牌并且主动塑造一种形象(效仿卡戴珊一家)。

“They have become so common that my grandma does them when we get together,” said Steven Holiday, an author of the study who argued that the notion of the selfie as narcissistic is outdated.

“自拍已经变得非常普遍,我们聚会的时候,连我奶奶也会自拍,”该研究的作者之一史蒂文·霍勒迪(Steven Holiday)说,他指出,认为自拍是自恋的观点已经过时了。

“We have gone beyond the self-centered nature — we need to let it go when it comes to selfies,” he said. “Selfies are a way for us to connect and communicate, and feel more personal with people all around the world.”

“我们已经超越了以自我为中心的天性,在自拍方面我们需要顺其自然,”他说。“自拍是我们与世界各地的人联系和交流、并且更有个人色彩的一种方式。”

In one example, researchers developed a #ScientistsWhoSelfie campaign studying how scientists’ posting photos of themselves with their work on Instagram influenced public perception of the profession. They found that photos with human faces helped improve impressions in a field that is often subject to negative stereotypes.

在一个例子中,研究人员发起了一场名为“#ScientistsWhoSelfie”(自拍的科学家)的活动,研究科学家在Instagram上发布自己工作照可以怎样影响公众对这一职业的看法。他们发现,在一个经常受到负面刻板印象影响的领域,人像照片有助于改善人们的印象。

“Scientists in general were perceived as warmer, but no less competent,” said Paige Jarreau, the lead author on the study. “That was particularly true for female scientists.”

“总的来说,人们感觉科学家更亲切了,但也不会让人觉得没本事,”这项研究的主要作者佩格·雅罗(Paige Jarreau)说。“尤其是女性科学家。”

While some scientists balked at first, fearing that their colleagues would consider them self-centered or think they take their work less seriously, Dr. Jarreau said those concerns dissipated once researchers explained that it could help build public trust. The hashtag #ScientistsWhoSelfie has taken off, with thousands of posts on Instagram.

尽管一些科学家开始有些犹豫,担心他们的同事会认为他们自我中心,或者认为他们对待自己的工作不那么认真,但雅罗说,一旦研究人员解释说,这样有助于建立公众信任,这些担忧就会消失。“#ScientistsWhoSelfie”的标签已经走红,Instagram上有成千上万的帖子。

“This is not just me taking a duckfaced selfie or trying to look cute on camera,” she said. “This is me being able to better tell the story about my science in a way that helps people trust me.”

“这不仅仅意味着一张嘟嘴的自拍,或者想在镜头前看起来可爱,”她说。“这意味着我能够更好地讲述和我的科学有关的故事,帮助人们信任我。”

Similarly, Dr. Fox has studied how self-documenting on social media can be a powerful tool for gay, transgender and nonbinary people who are undergoing an appearance transformation to live more publicly as their true selves. The public nature of the posts, she said, can be a cathartic form of self-expression.

同样,福克斯也研究了社交媒体上的自我记录如何成为同性恋、跨性别者和非二元性人群的有力工具,这些人正在经历外表的转变,以便更公开地展现真实的自我。她说,这些帖子的公共性可以作为自我表达的一种宣泄形式。

“That is a very empowering thing for them,” she said.

“对他们来说,这是一件非常鼓舞人心的事情,”她说。

But in the everyday, most of us post reflexively, even obsessively. Dr. Fox recalled a road trip she took to national parks, where she witnessed so many people taking selfies, she began taking photos of the selfie-takers themselves.

但在日常生活中,我们大多数人都是条件反射地,甚至是痴迷地发帖。福克斯回忆有一次去国家公园自驾游,看到很多人在自拍,于是她开始给自拍者们拍照。

“Ask yourself: Why are you posting that picture?” she said. “If there was a platform that didn’t enable likes, would you post this?” After all, there are other ways to foster a social connection. You could send the photo to a private group. You could put it in a frame at home. You could be mindful in the moment by not taking it at all.

“问问你自己:你为什么要上传这张照片?”她说。“如果有一个平台不支持点赞,你还会发布它吗?”毕竟,还有其他方法可以培养社交联系。你可以将照片发送到一个私密群组。你可以把它放在家中的相框里。你可以通过完全不拍照片来专注于当下。

But if you do, watch your step.

但如果你一定要拍,请小心脚下。

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