So, how many selfies have you taken today? Because if you have taken 3, then consider yourself crazy! According to the American Psychiatric Association, feeling a constant need to take selfies is a sign of a potential mental disorder.
There is always that one person in our lives who is fixated on seizing every second of their day within a duck-faced selfie. It seems that there is a very particular pose that accompanies the infamous selfie; slightly squinted eyes, head tilted to the left, and of course, we cannot forget the pouted lips! As with many trends and phases that come and go along with generations of youth, moral panic comes into play. It generally tends to be the older generations who frown upon the current youth and have a “tsk tsk” approach to the self-centeredness and a grandiose view that accompanies these selfies. Nowadays, the selfie phenomenon has become a threat to societal values and interests. People often compare the selfie addiction to Narcissism and a vital need to be liked and have a sense of prerogative. It can be said that such individuals lack self-gratification and self-confidence.
If you’re like me, Instagram is simply a way to share photos of highly important things such as my dog wearing a red bandana, and the Thai food I ate last night. However for some it is much more than an app for procrastination and the good old stalk: It’s a way to make a living. (Ka-ching!)These people are just like you and me (perhaps more attractive..ahem), who form an online persona to gain followers and popularity. These instagram stars don’t see their audience as followers, but as fans. This increase of social media being used as a source of financial means has made it easy for Instagram users to be recognised as “insta famous” and given people a lust for stardom. It is becoming the norm for everyday people to become Instagram celebs with huge numbers of followers and paid sponsorships. From “#fitspo” to “#blessed”, these people use their online presence almost like a resume and brand name, further feeding into the black whole of the Instagram world.
Maintaining a consistent visual image for your brand tot make the right impression on your target audience can be a challenging task. A challenge that can be reductive if not managed correctly, and you could be leaving out characteristics for a career that you don’t even know about. If you are crafting this online persona it may start to change who you really are. Do you REALLY like to drink “Skinny Tea” and eat Chia seeds for breakfast? Don’t you have any other hobbies other than using “Loving Tan” and whitening your teeth on weekends? Oh, and we musn’t forget the Kylie Jenner lip kits and colour swatches. Another challenge is how do you make sure that everyone who comments on your post is going to maintain your brand? At the end of the day, you don’t have full control over these things because your online presence is interactive and open to public opinion.
For those who say selfies are empowering, I really don’t think they are. What they really are is a technological reflection of the messed up way our society fools men and women into thinking that their most important quality is their physical appearance and attractiveness. Yes, it’s completely okay to take selfies; but we need to remember to live life in the present moment and not to live our lives before the eyes of others and for the approval or commentary of others.
Psychology Today. (2017). Are Selfies a Sign of Narcissism and Psychopathy?. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/close-encounters/201501/are-selfies-sign-narcissism-and-psychopathy [Accessed 8 Mar. 2017].
Gearup. (2017). Memes, Selfies and My Signature » Gearup. [online] Available at: http://www.bavils.com/memes-selfies-my-signature/ [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].
dna. (2017). World Mental Health Day- Taking too many selfies is a mental disorder: Doctors | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis. [online] Available at: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-world-mental-health-day-taking-too-many-selfies-is-a-mental-disorder-doctors-2132950 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].
Woronko, M. and Woronko, M. (2017). Addiction To Selfies: A Mental Disorder?. [online] Lifehack. Available at: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/addiction-selfies-mental-disorder.html [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017]