"Shelfies": Have you jumped on the Instagram trend?

Have you heard of (or taken) a “shelfie?”

I hadn’t until recently, but I’m intrigued by the concept.

While a “selfie” is a “self portrait” that captures your presence at a particular place or at a specific moment of time, a “shelfie” showcases the stuff you have displayed on your shelf. And, both are primarily shared on Instagram and other social media platforms.

For me, a “shelfie” isn’t just about the “stuff.” It’s about the things we choose to surround ourselves in our daily lives. Or, as New York interiors stylist Hilary Robertson is quoted as saying in a recent Wall Street Journal story, a” shelfie” is “a museum of you.”

Isn’t that so true?

If you look around yourself at home, at school or at work, I’m sure you can see the various items you’ve collected that chronicle your various roles, achievements and interests as they’ve evolved over the years.

As a communications professional, I always seem to surround myself with items that capture the clients I’ve supported throughout my career. Over the years, my shelves have been lined with soup cans, energy drinks, disaster preparedness brochures, health professional education toolkits, industry awards, and more.

As my family has begun to travel the world, and my Raising World Citizens tales have taken off, my collection of maps, miniature landmarks of the world, and other souvenirs has continued to grow.

And, of course, as a parent, I am constantly surrounded by my sons’ artwork and photos that add color, imagination and whimsy to my daily life.

No matter if I look at the shelf in my kitchen, my office or my bedroom, I see bits and pieces of my life take shape, from the past and present – with room for it to grow and evolve in the future.

To share these moments of time with the world is still a relatively new opportunity afforded to us through social media. And, for that reason, it may feel a bit awkward or self-centered to “show off” your life in objects. But, like a “selfie, a “shelfie” also can be an opportunity to share a piece of ourselves and connect with others around the world – without leaving home.

For that reason, I support and even go so far as to celebrate the “shelfie.”

By posting just one image on Instagram (or another social media platform), you may find others with similar interests or experiences – down the street or across “the pond.” And, I think that’s pretty magical.

And, yes, together, all of the “shelfies” you capture over the years can help build that “museum of you” – as Ms. Robertson so eloquently put it. It’s something you, your children and even their children can ultimately look back on to learn a bit about you, your life, your passions, your hopes and your dreams.

So, with that said, I am proud to share with you my first-ever “shelfie” here and on Instagram, and I welcome you to do the same.

But, first… Let me take my first-ever "shelfie"

My first-ever “shelfie” – just some of the items above my desk.

What do you have on your shelves? Would you capture and share it on Instagram? Please share your thoughts – and even your own “shelfies” – in the comments below.

There is a lot more multicultural discussion and fun to be had together.  Be sure to “like” Raising World Citizens on Facebook to join in on the conversation. And, come along with me on a visual journey of my efforts to raise two world citizens on Instagram.

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Filed under: Pop Culture

Tags: Instagram, Shelfie, Social Media

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