As a magazine staffer, it’s part of my job to keep afloat of new media trends, and one of the most inescapable social media trends in 2013 was the "selfie,” which was named Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. Chances are you’ve heard of the term, too. Whether or not you’ve ever taken a photo of yourself and posted it on your social media site of choice, you’ve probably seen, enjoyed or, in some cases, rolled your eyes at the selfies taken and shared by your children, other family members or favorite celebrities. From hipsters to baby boomers (including the president of the United States), selfies have become an acceptable form of self-expression.
Farmers haven’t escaped the selfie fad either—and there’s a new spin-off to prove it. Perhaps it’s the slow days of winter that have helped the "felfie” rise to social media stardom in the last couple of weeks. The felfie, in short, is a selfie for farmers, a craze which reportedly began when The Irish Farmers Journal created a contest for "Ireland's greatest farmer selfie.” The trend has since exploded internationally with a dedicated website (felfies.com), Facebook page, and, of course, an endless stream of felfies on Instagram and Twitter of proud farmers posing with their barnyard friends—chickens, goats, pigs, cows, et cetera—or in front of some other farm-scene backdrop.
Selfie spin-offs, like the felfie, might seem a little more palpable to those who might think a selfie is, well, a bit trivial, narcissistic or a just a big waste of time. The felfie doesn’t just bring attention to the farmer, but it seems to celebrate farming as a way of life in a simple and positive way. It also shows the evolution of the selfie into something a little more meaningful and focused, which brings me to the newest selfie spawn I read about this week: the "healthie.”
The healthie goes beyond a simple self-photo of you eating at your favorite pizza joint or standing in front of some city’s greatest landmark—it’s a selfie intended to be inspirational or contain a call to action, specifically related to healthy living. In his recent Mind Body Green blog post, Dr. Joel Kahn describes healthie as "a new photo community of committed, supported wellness warriors.” He suggests using healthies to inspire others by capturing moments of personal growth and healthy living. I think this is a great suggestion as the end of January nears and all the health goals we set for ourselves on Dec. 31 become overshadowed or replaced by other important impending farm goals and projects.
Dr. Kahn gives a list of healthie ideas that could inspire others, which made me start to think of a few other ways farmers can capture and celebrate their moments of farming and healthy living as a way to encourage friends, family members and others out there in the social stratosphere. Whether you’re a newbie to the selfie, felfie or healthie trend, or a well-adept social media self-portrait artist, below are a few other photo ideas to inspire others in 2014. And once you snap one, be sure to post it to Instagram with the hashtag #hobbyfarmselfie so we can see it and help spread some farm inspiration!
Ideas for your 2014 healthy living/farming selfies:
Proudly displaying your containers of indoor seed starts.
- Dipping into jars of homemade preserves you put up for winter enjoyment.
- Riding your new farm tractor that will help you harvest your crops faster this year (and give your body a little rest).
- Serving up freshly picked veggies at your local farmer’s market this summer.
- Stopping to strike a new yoga pose or stretch during a hard day’s work.
- Munching on produce straight from the garden.
- Cuddling with your farm’s animal babies.
- Shots of your muddy muck boots, as you keep up farm production, no matter the weather.
- Funny faces as you try to imitate your animal counterparts.
- Photo bombing the chicken flock.
- Playing in the garden with your children or grandchildren.
- Taking a bite of that delish pancake drizzled in your homemade maple syrup.
- Stowing away at your favorite on-farm getaway location.
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