By Leslie Ferrell
As soon as Ellen started to take a selfie at the Oscars on Sunday, one of the highlights of the evening, I couldn’t look away. When more and more celebrities started joining her, I knew without a doubt that the picture would break the record for most retweets.
And I also thought it was one of the cutest things I had ever seen on television. Of course, it was just part of the show for the Oscars and intended to have people talking for days. And, yes, it did break the record for retweets in less than an hour by a fairly wide margin (surpassing an election night retweeted photo of President Obama hugging his wife). But beyond showing us the power of social media, I think this moment can also teach us something about ourselves.
Maybe Bradley Cooper really hates taking selfies and wearing a bowtie, but in the moment that was captured on Ellen Degeneres’ phone, we all felt a little more connected with those celebrities than ever. We felt a part of something big and important, like those celebs were our friends and like we really knew them for the entirety of the program.
Seeing Ellen and Brad Pitt pass out pizza and celebrities pass a pizza box down their rows not only made us suddenly in the mood for pizza, but was also a reminder that they’re normal people who need to eat too. (And can we just imagine how that delivery man felt?)
The speeches also give a bit of a glimpse of celebrities’ personalities. Some may stick to just thanking the Academy, but others seem to show you a bit of who they really are. Matthew McConaughey’s speech, for example, was one I really enjoyed. He seemed to sincerely thank God and his family, and for that moment, we saw into who he really is when he’s not on the big screen.
I think something we all want is to really know people. When we pass someone quickly on the sidewalk and say “Hi, how are you,” maybe sometimes it would be nice to know how they really are instead of the standby, “Good,” or “Really busy.” Of course these things happen, we’re just being friendly, and on most days we usually do feel good and really busy. But how nice is it to be able to tell someone how you truly feel in that moment, or vice versa? It makes us feel like we really know someone and that we are becoming a part of their lives for that moment.
Especially on a campus like Asbury’s where community is a key word that we hear everyday, it’s easy to take it for granted. But I think before we reach the day when we put on our caps and gowns and take a walk across the stage in the Luce Center, it’s important for us to realize how important this community is and how much power it can have. I’m picturing a selfie that someone takes in Chapel with the full auditorium behind them. How many retweets would that get?
In this environment, we are a part of something big, and even more important than the Oscars.
Maybe we’ll never break the record number of retweets in minutes and shut Twitter down, or get to make an acceptance speech at the Oscars or even deliver pizza to someone famous, but we shouldn’t take the opportunities we do have for granted. Sometimes just taking the time to really get to know someone and have community – to take advantage of the normalcy of life and post selfies of our own, together – can make a huge difference.
Who knew a selfie could have so much power?