'While selfies [...] may evince a certain callousness and indifference to behavioral norms, they also reveal an associative realignment. [...] This realignment moves the onus of experience away from phenomenal engagements with adjacent strangers and towards digital interactions with online communities. The former tend to be ruled by pre-established codes of conduct that ensure civility in place of familiarity; the latter rely on more itinerate and fluid systems of mores developed within (or adopted by) online associative networks in the process of formation.
'The fissure between phenomenal experience and digital interaction originates in the translation of the former into the latter. This kind of translation not only involves a system of mediation (disassociation), but also one of transmission, in which the selfie serves as a “real-time” performance of self oriented towards an audience situated elsewhere. This performance, so integral to processes of individuation and identification within groups, is always defined by a spatial and temporal displacement, as well as a separation between the self and the sign (the selfie) that is its surrogate.'
Adam Levin, 'The Selfie in the Age of Digital Recursion', Ecologies, 20