Don’t Lose Yourself in the Selfie

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When did you last take a selfie? Last night?  This morning?

The ‘Selfie’ has become one of the most popular ways to communicate with others. Whether it’s a travel selfie, creative selfie or just a selfie of you on the couch to your friends, they have become a useful tool to document your life to your family, friends and followers to show what you have been up to. However, like any form of social media it’s always important to understand the risks that come with them.

Selfies began as a tool for self-promotion on social media, especially on Instagram and Facebook.  Quickly people began to rely on these selfies as a way of seeking out validation and affirmations from others, particularly  in the form of comments or likes.  Comments and likes make people feel special and accepted. 

Today, many young people get caught up in the unrealistic and fake side of social media which causes an increase in anxiety, depression and a lack of self-confidence as people compare their lives to people on social media.  

The danger with posting on social media is that everybody is posting their ‘highlights.’ Meaning that they only show the best bits of their lives. Many of these photos are posed and carefully thought out, creating a very different version from reality. Whether this be through filters, favourable lighting, makeup, nice clothes or photoshop, many photos on social media aren’t accurate representations of how they look in person.

The moment you scroll through social media you  compare yourself with everyone else’s lives which can cause you to feel down and upset, particularly if you are doing it for many hours a day. This is why it is always important to follow people who are realistic with their lives on social media, meaning they post unfiltered content or posts that compare “Instagram vs reality.” By following more accounts like this will create a more positive experience throughout your feed.

Another platform that is very popular for selfies is Snapchat. This platform is a quick form of communication usually among close friends. Snapchat automatically provides over 20 different filters for you to try. Some are funny however most will change your facial structure or add a makeup filter over the top. The problem with this is the more you use these filters the more you expect to look like this without a filter, leading to more mental health and confidence issues as you get older.

Overall, selfies are a fun way to document your adventures with your friends and family, however, it’s always important to understand the dangers of posting the ‘perfect’ picture to social media and to not compare yourself with other people’s ‘highlights.’

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