Homeless People Share Their Thoughts On Selfies And Selfishness With A Filmmaker

"Look beyond your selfie."

The selfie craze has been around for years now, but for some of America, it's a perplexing habit.

In a new short film by Mario Garzan, homeless men were asked about selfies. Had they ever taken one? What did they think of them?

Their answers made Garzan stop to think about the society we live in.

"It's no longer focusing on the world and what really matters," one man said. "It's focusing on yourself mostly, and impressing your friends, trying to look better than one another rather than trying to bring each other together."

One Philadelphia study showed that 44 percent of homeless adults own cell phones. But, judging by Garzan's video, people who are homeless might use their phones for purposes other than selfies.

"Technology has taken us more apart," one man said. Another was critical of the selfishness of something like a selfie: "Now society is much more conscious [of] how they look to the outside world and how they are perceived," he said. 

Garzan, speaking with A Plus through email, said he got the idea for the video when he realized he frequently looked away from homeless people to look at his phone, where so many of his own selfies were housed.

"The takeaway is to look beyond your selfie," he said. "We used to take photos of buildings, flowers, cities and send [them] to friends. Now it seems that we need to be in all of those photos; it's about 'me me me' instead."

During the recording, Garzan asked some of the homeless men if they wanted to take a selfie. Many declined, but a few accepted. For some, it was their first. His project was reminiscent of another photo-centric homelessness project, one that took place in London. There, 105 cameras were given out to homeless people and they were asked to take pictures across the city.

If you're interested in helping the fight to end homelessness, check out what you can do through the National Alliance To End Homelessness


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