Selfies and the world of hollow 'Likes' '- A threat to the young minds- Part 1

Roses are red, Violets are blue
I love Selfies, and so do you?

FB FB, dear FB wall
How many likes did I get in all?

Some fall off a cliff, some fall off and drown in the sea and some fall off the train. He was somebody's young son; she was someone's adolescent daughter. Click on the link to read about selfie deaths in India alone-

Taking selfies is not harmful. It started as a mode of self-expression, and a means of communicating and connecting with others. But the story did not end here. Slowly and steadily, the art of selfies along with the advent of Facebook and Instagram took this self-expression to a different level. A level where every kind of attempt is made to gain approval, admiration and validation and gratification. This leads you to a form of obsession.People start looking for validation and become dependent on them. They literally throw the reins of their life, their self-esteem, their self-identity in other people’s hands. How right is it? Think about it.

There are people who become selfie addicts. In fact, there are some sites that report selfie addiction as termed by doctors and psychiatrists to be one of the latest mental disorders or illnesses.Along these lines, yet another concern surrounding selfies is the extent to which the images can be altered and manipulated to project a person’s ideal identity as opposed to his or her real identity. What do we want to achieve out of this? To alter and project to the world a deceptive self? Why? Think about it? Is the feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem the cause? Is this a sustainable choice to boost your self-esteem?

Taking selfies is not harmful.Taking a dangerous selfie for the number of likes and comments it will generate is definitely a NO.Likes are a quantifiable way of measuring popularity and these days. It doesn’t suffice just to post a picture of yours because everyone is doing that. So what sets you apart? So, what makes you stand out so that your numbers are higher than others? It is the extreme selfie which will finally get you those numbers and give a kick to your ego.So why not go for it? Really? Think about it.

But who defines the threshold where a simple act of clicking oneself does not become a life-threatening behaviour?
And why are adolescents a vulnerable group?We behave differently when we are in a group and in the case of adolescents, it's true to the core. The stage is such. One doesn't get to know whether the threshold of safety and security has been crossed or maintained.

According to research, people's posts on social media can tell an interesting story about their personalities and lives. People don’t post pictures. They splash. Have you ever wondered why is it important to post 80 pictures (basically capturing every move and moment) of a travel, a birthday bash or a newborn baby homecoming? Won’t few suffice and tell the same story? Maybe not. Because we want the world to know every bit of the ‘awesomeness’ we are in. The more, the better.

Research has shown that people who post a lot of selfies also tend to score higher in traits of narcissism. Narcissism? To the uninitiated- Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope. He was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis noticed this behaviour and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realising it was merely an image.One day Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in the spring and, in desperation, killed himself.

The rise of the selfie as an art form has not gone unnoticed by manufacturers and they are making the most of this narcissism. The market is inundated with a variety of models of phone each having an USP (unique selling proposition) of clicking the best SELFIE.

With the environment flooded with products, the social media platform so demanding,  the peer pressure so overwhelming and the ‘self’ so fragile, the madness is only there to stay and increase. And with each passing day, the danger comes one step nearer to our children.

What do we do?

Click on the following link to read Part 2.


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