If you have social media accounts, you’ve probably done it. If you spend more than a few hours a day on your social media accounts – you’ve probably over done it.
I been reading so many scary articles lately on teenagers, social media, sex and selfies. Teenage girls are sitting at home staring at their Instagram feeds and counting the “likes” on their latest picture. Are they showing enough skin? Do they look too slutty or not enough? Did the filter make that blemish go away? Is that boy that they’re cyber-stalking going to press the heart button on their picture when he sees it?
It’s not just teenagers that have succumbed to the selfie monster – it’s us grown ups too.
We do it.
We may not do it for the “hook up”…
But a part of us does it to gauge our popularity.
A part of us does it for the self esteem boost.
A part of us hits “post” and then lays back… waiting to bask in the comments of “OMG – you look gorgeous”, “I loooooove your hair”, or ”handsome devil”.
The danger is that too much focus on “the selfie” leads to two things: either narcissism or insecurity…
and the bottom line is that selfies exist entirely in the land of physical appearance.
Even when we try to be “artsy” about it and post a black and white picture of just our eye peeking through our side-swept hair – it’s still a filtered, crafted picture around the physical appearance of our eye… the eye that may or may not have had Visine squirted in it a few minutes before hand.
So many of us have taken five, ten, twenty shots of the same picture to find the one angle that looks the most “natural”.
I do it too.
Last year at around this time, I posted a total of one selfie picture in a month. This year it’s twenty in a month…
and I’m scared, you guys.
I read an interesting article about What Your Selfies Say About You with this quote:
“There’s a sense that selfie subjects feel as though they’re starring in their own reality shows, with an inflated sense of self that allows them to believe their friends or followers are interested in seeing them lying in bed, lips pursed, in a real world headshot.”
I don’t want to become one of those people!
I’ve seen it happen. I’ve felt my affections for other people/bloggers seriously wane as their infrequent selfies eventually turned into dozens of pictures of themselves a day:
- Black and white filtered picture of both eyes peeking over the bed sheet. Hair is slightly messed, but sheet is strategically covering throbbing zit on left cheek. Caption: ” Good morning, Monday”.
- Picture of self in bathroom mirror holding toothbrush. Foamy toothpaste smudged over left-cheek-zit for coverage. Double processed with the “rise” filter on Instagram for a good glow. Caption: “Oops! Furiously brushing. I blame excessive tequila last night.”
- Eyes peering up at the camera while red lips rest on a Starbucks to-go cup. ”Lo-Fi,” baby. Caption: ”Starbucks saves the day.”
- Walking down the street in new jacket, etc.
- Side braiding hair at work desk, etc.
- Putting on lip gloss for Skype call, etc.
- Picture of me. Picture of me. Picture of me, etc.
I’m not saying I don’t like to see your smiling faces occasionally in my social media streams.
I like to feel connected to you.
I like to be reminded of what you look like outside of your avatar.
Keyword – occasionally.
I think a lot of us have gotten a little too addicted to posting pictures we take of ourselves.
So I’m going to stop…just for a little while…and I’d love it if you do it with me.
Let the camera be an extension of your eyes…of your heart…
Don’t show me what you look like.
Show me what you’re seeing…what you’re experiencing.
I don’t care what your hair looks like…
and I’m trying to care less about mine.
From October 1st through October 30th, I’m going to try a whole hell of a lot not to post a single picture that I take of myself. Yes, it ends on Halloween, because SHOW ME YOUR COSTUMES, PEOPLE.
Will you join me?
Would your teenagers and preteens join me?
I triple-dog-dare you.
Put your heart into it…without putting your “self” into it.
This post originally appeared on MommyNaniBooBoo.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Posted on 10/5/2013
A stage and television actress in her pre-motherhood life, Jenni Chiu is now best known for her raw, honest, and 68% humorous blog – MommynaniBooboo.com. She is a “Mommaloguer” at SheKnows.com where she answers real mom questions, and vlogs on her YouTube channel where she talks about social media, life’s big questions, and stuff you didn’t know you needed to know.
Jenni is also a public speaker on the following subjects: Creative Blogging, Motherhood 2.0, Surviving Postpartum Depression, and Healing From Sexual Assault. She has spoken at BlogHer’13 on the Anatomy of a Story, at the Women In video Conference on the Mom Panel, and on different occasions for the LA County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force.