The #Selfie Obsession
You are sitting in your room, bored and with nothing to do. You flip through the social media apps on your phone, then decide to take a photo of yourself. You open your camera app, prop it at just the right angle, and snap the photo. After shuffling through several filters on Instagram, as well as adjusting the lighting and temperature, you caption your favorite inspirational quote, tag it with several hashtags, and finally hit that “publish” checkmark button. You then wait for the “likes” and comments to come.
This scenario happens so often that it’s like waking up and brushing your teeth in the morning. In this age of fast-paced technology and interpersonal relations through social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, it comes as no surprise that many of us despite our age, are obsessed with presenting our “best” selves to the world. We are spending hours each day constructing our profiles with the top photos of ourselves and our everyday lives.
Yet, while all of this might be viewed as simple self-indulgence from time to time, spending too much time on it can adversely affect our mental health and even social lives. Indeed, taking selfies is a narcissistic habit that we have all come love to hate (or hate to love). Here is a list of the negative aspects associated with the selfie culture.
It can be dangerous
Now, taking a selfie in the comforts of your bedroom might not be life-threatening, but imagine if you were to suddenly stop in the middle of a busy street just to snap a photo of yourself. Not only does this put you in danger of bumping into another person, but it can also potentially lead to a car accident. It appears that common sense is forgotten when trying to capture that “perfect moment” on camera. Put down that phone, and wait until you finish crossing the street to resume picture-taking.
It can lead to body image problems
Perhaps people choose to take selfies to show off to their peers (even to the world). But there is also a large possibility that people take photos of themselves due to insecurity issues. Some even spend hours taking the same photo again and again, filtering through hundreds of them just to pick one that is good enough to be displayed on their Instagram. There have been psychological studies that have found the obsession with selfies closely linked to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental disorder in which one becomes obsessed with a physical flaw on their body which doesn’t actually exist. To avoid going down that path, learning not to obsess so much over the imperfections of a single photo is one way to start.
Closely linked to the previous issue, selfies can also greatly affect one’s relationship with self-esteem. Thinking that one is not good enough in terms of shape, body weight, and physical features can take a real toll on one’s own happiness. Having only just a few “likes” and a couple of comments on a photo that you had spent an hour preparing for does not mean the end of the world for you. It is more important to recognize your self-worth, regardless of other people’s perception of you.
It can lead to inappropriate behavior
Selfies aren’t always just negatively affecting you, but also the people around us. Taking up space in the subway with your friends just for a group photo not only makes you look silly, but it is also disrespectful to the other passengers there. Smiling when you’re visiting the concentration camps in Auschwitz or at the scene of a forest fire is just sacrilegious. Be more aware of your surroundings and situation, taking a selfie isn’t always acceptable.
You might not be taken seriously
Be careful: everything you post on social media lasts forever, no matter how hard you try to erase all traces of it. Don’t post too many selfies because you may immediately be judged as narcissistic. Or maybe you have an embarrassing photo of yourself getting drunk with a vulgar caption on Facebook? Imagine your future employers discovering that photo; you’re career can be jeopardized. To prevent yourself from becoming someone who is not taken seriously, keeping photos private or don’t post everything on the internet (which is the safest option).