Spring break 2014: To selfie or not to selfie

The selfie has come into focus for spring break 2014.

Coming off the heels of the 86th Academy Awards last Sunday, when host Ellen DeGeneres crashed the Twitter social site with her selfie shared around the world, this cultural phenomenon of snapping mini-portraits of ourselves resonates more than ever. (There's even an electronica song, currently playing on the radio, called "#selfie" by The Chainsmokers.)

But whether to selfie or not was up for debate this past week, as scores of college students and their friends descended on Fort Lauderdale beach, South Florida's favorite hot spot for the annual sun-and-fun pilgrimage.

Is it too vain, or just a harmless endeavor? See what youths had to say about this self-snap movement. Page X.

Photos: Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale

— Johnny Diaz and Barbara Corbellini Duarte

It's a familiar pose on the beach: Spring breakers holding up their phones to the bright blue sky and striking that prize shot of themselves to share with their social media followers.

It's the selfie. And even though these photos have been around for a while, they were thrust back into the spotlight last Sunday when host Ellen DeGeneres broke a record on the Twitter social site for the most retweeted selfie, taken with fellow celebrities at the Academy Awards. Now a Texas man is trying to beat her record by having people retweet his selfie with his two dogs.

As spring break got underway this past week, we hit Fort Lauderdale beach and saw scores of youths partaking in this self-snap movement. Some said selfies all the way! Others wanted nothing to do with the digital mini-portraits on the beach, no matter how good they (and their friends) thought they looked. Selfies are vain, they say, especially if you're a dude.

And then there were those who were willing to take the selfie, and post it on a social media platform, but not be photographed while actually shooting said selfie.

Whichever the approach, as of 5 p.m. Saturday, a SouthFlorida.com photo collection of selfies (SouthFlorida.com/springbreak had been viewed times, proving that Spring Break truly may be in the eye of the selfie-beholder.

Here's what some spring breakers had to say about the whole issue.

"It's just about me, I guess ... I don't think about why I take a picture, I just do it, and if it's pretty, I post it."

— Cassy Andrews, 20, business management student at Broward College

"Selfies are an interesting phenomenon. I participate daily. I think it says something about this generation. We're self-absorbed. I'll admit I am a little bit too."

— John Peckham, 24, finance student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

"We are all a little vain. We like the acknowledgment. Nobody likes to be watched when they are taking a selfie, which is funny because you will share it later on. It's ironic."

— Angelica Rodriguez, 18, of Pembroke Pines, trying to be discreet taking her selfie

"I just feel like at that moment I'm happy with myself, and I'm not afraid of sharing that with my friends. It's hard not to be happy down here. Beautiful weather, beautiful people surrounding you. Not many reasons not to smile."

— JaLyn Marcicky, 23, of Fort Lauderdale

"I don't think it's vain unless you go to somebody's social network and it's all you see. That's why I balance it out with the cat pictures."