I’ve always been very conscious about not taking too many “couple selfie” photos. I mean, sure, in my entire history of being a person with a camera and a friend, I’ve lifted in my arm in the air to take a picture of the two of us. Anything’s better than asking a stranger to document that you like each other and are in the same place.
But these photos are far and few between, a sort of last-ditch effort. “OK, we are here, we should have a photo from this place, of both of our persons, so OK… let’s get this over with,” is the feeling that pervades.
Not so, according to this couple! Mark E. Miller and Ethan Hethcote recently nabbed the Guinness World Record for most selfies taken in an hour. Last weekend in South Beach, the duo managed to take 355 selfies in an hour (or about one every 10 seconds).
The two, who are also popular vloggers, took the photos with random beach-goers, picking random sunbathers to take selfies with. The event was sponsored by the #missionsmile movement, an organization focused on promoting happiness… so I don’t want to be too cynical about it. But it sounds a lot like those people who go around with "Free Hugs!" signs. Aren't all hugs free? Can't I just choose when and where I hug someone? And I can think of some selfies that have caused people great sadness and/or regret.
It likely does not hurt that these are both very good looking men and that most of their participants are in swimsuits and are also very good looking. Also the montage showing Miller’s selfies at the end is a bit disturbing because his face barely changes—new people are just seemingly swapped in next to him!
The video and mission are a testament to a few things. First, the Guinness World Records is ridiculous. These guys didn’t create the record, they broke it. That means there was a previous record. Second, people in South Beach must be friendlier than I am. If a stranger tried to take a selfie with me while I was in a swimsuit, I would throw sand in his face as a distraction and run.
But if a selfie makes you happy, then to each their own. Miami won't be the only city hit by the madness: #Missionsmile will keep the selfie's going, and your city could be next. I'm not sure if that's a promise or a threat; interpret how you like!