The topic that will be discussed in this analysis is selfies. The advent of social networks has made it easy for people to share their images with their friends and loved ones. The article that has been chosen for this rhetorical analysis is titled “My Selfie, Myself.” This article was authored by Jenna Wortham and published in The New York Times on 19 October 2013. Jenna Wortham is a staffer and technology reporter of The New York Times. In this article, the author discusses the concept of “selfie.” The author effectively uses ethos, logos and pathos to highlight the main points and concepts in the article.
In this article the author presents the notion of “selfie.” She states that selfies do not just take pictures of themselves, they are also the ones holding the camera meaning that the photographs become self-portraits. This has been occasioned by a cultural change in which social media users find the world they observe through social media more interesting when they insert themselves into it. This phenomenon has become more popular due to the increased use of different social media applications including Skype, Instagram, Snapchat and Facetime. Wortham states that this is not a new phenomenon and it can be seen that she introduces the article with a photograph of a female pilot which she found in a Vermont antiques store. However, over the last couple of years the notion of selfies has gained much popularity to the extent that the Oxford Dictionaries has included it as part of the lexicon. There are many advertisements and media products that involve the selfies of characters. The article talks positively of the selfie phenomenon and states that this is a means through which individuals can develop an understanding of how people see them.
The use of logos in this article can first be seen by the manner in which the author quotes from authorities in this field. One of the authorities that Clive Thompson who is a technology writer and technology author who asserts that people are increasingly finding the urge to stand outside of themselves and look at themselves (Thompson 2). The other person that the author quotes from is Frédéric della Faille who is the founder and designer of Frontback which is an application that allows users to share photos. The author reports on the explanation provided by Dr. Pamela Rutledge who is a director at Media Psychology Research Center in which she explains the mechanism of work of the human brain. Dr. Pamela Rutledge states that the human brain is wired to respond to faces, and it can visualize faster if it is looking at photos. The other instance of logos is the author quoting the number of photos that snapchat is processing each day. The author asserts that Snapchat is processing 350 million photos per day showing the manner in which selfies have been a craze over the last few years.
One of the instances of pathos in the article is when the author states that the idea of selfies is about an individual showing friends and family the elation and happiness that they experience. This is an effective means of communication to the loved ones. The author states that selfies inspire a feedback loop which allow people to share images and experiences. This is a feeling that does not hurt. The other instance of pathos is when the author states that it is not proper for individuals to consider selfies as a form of expressionism. Rather, she states that selfies should be seen as a form of visual diary which one can use to mark existence in a place.
In conclusion, the author of the article “My Selfie, Myself” has effectively used rhetorical appeals to inform the readers of the selfie craze that has developed over the last couple of years. The use of these appeals has helped in conveying the message that selfies should not be dismissed but should be accepted as part of modern culture.