Teen Obsession on Selfies
The term “selfie” has become so popular that it was recently added to the Oxford English dictionary and even deemed “Word of the Year” in 2013. If your teenagers are like most others, you probably see them taking selfies every day, and you might be wondering what sort of effect this is having on their self-esteem.
Why Are Teens so Obsessed With Selfies?
There are many factors that make selfies popular in the teen world. For one, teens naturally crave attention, and the reaction they receive from others goes far in helping them define their own identities during this crucial time in development. Teens also want to fit in, so if they see all of their friends taking selfies and posting them to social-media sites, they will naturally be inclined to want to do the same. Lastly, many teens see selfies as a way to gauge their own level of physical attractiveness. If they receive many “likes” on a selfie, they might feel better about their appearance that day. However, this is a dangerous game. Many teens experience a drop in self-esteem when they don’t receive the reaction they are hoping for.
Are Selfies Damaging?
Unfortunately, research shows that an obsession with selfies and social media may indeed be dangerous for your teens. Constantly taking and posting images of oneself can lead to certain mental illnesses, such as body dysmorphia and depression. It can also lead teens to begin having problems with their peers, as many people view those who constantly post selfies as narcissistic. In 2013, a study found that Facebook users who posted a lot of selfies received less support from their friends and followers than those who didn’t. Some users even feel compelled to defriend those who post too many images of themselves.
What You Can Do!
In this day and age, you can’t ask your kids to completely disconnect from the Internet or stop posting on social media. However, what you can do is take advantage of the fact that you are still the greatest influence in your children’s lives. Encourage involvement in after-school activities, church groups and other things that will keep them from spending all of their time online. Above all else, always do your best to be a positive role model and focus on the strengths and talents that don’t involve physical appearance both in yourself and your children. If they see you basing your self-worth on the way you look, it will be difficult for them to avoid doing the same.