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Selfies are ubiquitous. They can be silly or serious, casual or curated. Within moments, smartphone users can capture their image and post it across multiple social media platforms to a global audience. But do we truly understand the power of image in our image-saturated age? How can we seek God and care for each other in digital spaces?
Craig Detweiler, a nationally known writer and speaker and an avid social media user, examines the selfie phenomenon, placing selfies within the long history of self-portraits in art, literature, and photography. He shows how self-portraits change our perspective of ourselves and each other in family dynamics, education, and discipleship. Challenging us to push past unhealthy obsessions with beauty, wealth, and fame, Detweiler helps us to develop a thoughtful, biblical perspective on selfies and social media and to put ourselves in proper relation to God and each other. He also explains the implications of social media for an emerging generation, making this book a useful conversation starter in homes and churches. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and a photo assignment for creating a selfie in response to the chapter.
Praise for Selfies
“Reflecting Detweiler’s impressive grasp of art history and deep wisdom attained in media ecology, Selfies is both an invaluable guide for understanding our techno world with all its trappings and a book full of delightful observations.”—Makoto Fujimura, artist and director of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, Fuller Theological Seminary
“This brilliant book does not simply bash media but critically explores it while presenting the good, the bad, and the very ugly. A must-read for anyone who spends even a minute on the internet or near any media outlet.”—Daniel White Hodge, associate professor of intercultural communication, North Park University; author of Homeland Insecurity: A Hip-Hop Missiology for the Post–Civil Rights Context
“I don’t know anyone who can connect the dots between centuries of church history and twenty-first-century selfies like Craig Detweiler. This book has changed the way I think about the images I see and share as well as the image of God in all of us.”—Kara Powell, executive director, Fuller Youth Institute; coauthor of Growing Young
“A fabulous journey through history in search of the first selfie. Stories of Narcissus, Rembrandt, Bayard, and Kim Kardashian provide a fascinating backdrop for understanding why it feels so good to get the perfect shot of me.”—Peggy Kendall, professor of communication studies, Bethel University; author of Reboot: Refreshing Your Faith in a High-Tech World
“A Rosetta stone for people of faith bewildered by the seeming narcissism of the ubiquitous selfie. . . . Selfies encourages readers to view the images of others and ourselves with compassion and curiosity and to see past the image to the collective longing to be known.”—Lisa Swain, associate professor of cinema and media arts, Biola University