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Taking Selfies Promotes a Culture of Narcissism: Is this really true?

Taking Selfies Promotes a Culture of Narcissism: Is this really true?
on June, 13 2014

Image credit: Selfie z Januszem Korwin-Mikke taken by Filip Hallo under Public Domain.

In these day and age, who is not guilty of taking selfies every now and then? With the availability of high powered camera phones and the ease of spreading the taken photo online, a lot of people are addicted with taking selfies. Though fun and exciting, certain cases have proven that it can actually be detrimental. Based on researches made, the popularity of selfies paved the way for the culture of narcissism. Many people, especially teenagers, cannot stand just taking a photo of themselves without sharing what they have taken online. Thus, this seemingly fun and harmless act has resulted to a myriad of problems to some people.

Extreme Cases

A few months ago a 15-year old boy Danny Bowman, made headlines due to his attempt to kill himself since he was not satisfied with his selfies. Bowman is an aspiring model. His addiction to selfies began when people started to like the photos he posted online. Since social media allow people to write comments, it was inevitable for some to post negative comments about his looks. Bowman took these comments seriously, eventually making him feel bad about himself and how he looks like. Since he was not happy with his photos, he overdosed himself with pills.

Though he survived the incident, it says a lot about how selfies have created a huge impact in today’s society. Many people have become more obsessed with social approval. They start building their character based on how others see them and not on how they feel they should be. Those who cannot handle social disapproval start feeling bad about themselves and like Bowman, attempted to end their lives.

Aside from this extreme case, we have also seen people who have taken selfies even in the most unfavorable conditions. There were those who took selfies in front of accidents or a burning place instead of finding ways to help the victims. There were those who took selfies in dangerous situations just to get the attention of others. Some even posted their photos while attempting to commit suicide or do other dangerous stuff.

Self-Control and Proper Guidance

This rising culture of narcissism and false identity brought about by selfies and social media is really alarming. Thus, teens and other selfie addicts must learn the idea of self-control. They must also be given proper guidance. They must know that their worth is not dependent on the number of likes they have received in Facebook or the positive comments written by other people on their status. Though it is important for them to acknowledge what other people perceive of them every now and then, they must understand that these people don’t determine who they will be and how valuable they are.

It is also important to ensure that teens are given other activities to do. They are busy taking selfies because they don’t see the worth of doing other things in life. They must be returned back to activities that matter. They need to know the value of education. They have to be involved in sports. They should be given the chance to grow and learn in the “real” world so they won’t be confident about the virtual world and see it as a reality.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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