“Pictures taken of oneself while holding the camera at arms length,” is the Urban Dictionary definition of “Selfies.”
I Googled ‘Selfies’ and in an instant, there were 675,000 results.
Teenagers take photos of every movement they make, every meal they eat, every place they visit, every friend they are with, every party they attend, and immediately post these photos on Instagram and Facebook. This is accompanied with text, tweet and comment reflecting teens’ immediate thoughts, desires, impulses – there is little or no thought to editing or waiting the 24 hour ‘grace’ period before disseminating information - ‘Selfies’ are an extremely popular and innate component of teenage branding and self-promotion.
Young people run wild with expensive smart phones taking countless photos of themselves making funny pouty faces and weird hand gestures as though they are posing for Vogue. Some take it way too far and promote partying and promiscuity! Plenty of Internet “Selfie Sites’ read, “Basically we love naked chicks. Submit your own photos if you want.” Yikes!
After posting photos of Instagram and Facebook, teens strive to receive “Likes ” from friends and strangers. The more “Likes” they receive, the better they feel about themselves. Something is very wrong with this notion and yet very easy to understand with teenagers.
I have raised my kids to be somewhat humble, and yet as a parent I am in a constant tug-a -war with societal influences – it used to be billboards, television and magazines but now the exposure and pull from the viral world is more powerful and somedays, I think it is winning!
I teeter and totter between blaming my children’s affinity to “Selfies” with faulty parenting and with the delightful belief that this may be the genesis of their brilliant careers as branding agents, promoters or marketing and communication experts.
Parents of teenagers have many battles to fare and “Selfies” while really annoying do not always make to the top of the list. But constant reminders to be safe, thoughtful and less indulgent have become part of my mantra none-the-less!