SELFIE -SYNDROME or REVOLUTION???

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Its monsoon in Goa! Blue waters, colored gumboots and greenery all around; its just simply ‘beautiful‘.  But unfortunately I could not capture the moment because of a mishap with my phone. Handicapped as I felt, it did make me think how very dependent and frustrated a need to click a picture made me feel. After a lot of questioning it all ended with me evaluating the pros and cons of a selfie.

21st century
The 21st century witnessed an increased influence in the use of technology especially cellular phones.  Rather than being a means to communicate it has become a necessity;  where noone can survive without it. Another important development in these years was the growing social media impact which touched everyone from the young to the old. With the impact of such global changes its certain to affect several ways of human beings.
Today we see the growing trend of selfie or self portraits. Is it just a mere generation craze, a way to create an image or is it affecting us in ways which are going unnoticed?


BREIF HISTORY

Selfies have had a long unknown history.  It can be dated back to the 1900 when kodak Brownie box camera made its debut.

the first selfie images taken by Kodak Brownie Box
Kodak Brownie Box

So why is there so much hype about it today? A simple and obvious answer is that we are in a new age of digitalization! Social media platforms are open to everyone giving each person a chance to express themselves, unlike olden days where magazines, TV commercials and newspapers were the few tools of marketing and spreading information, today each person has a platform to create an image, stay connected, make opportunities, change the way people think, dress or feel just with the power of a selfie.

Our generation is not only all about the glitz and glam but also we are quick thinkers and are fast paced.We love attention, seek attraction and are prone towards perfection.

Its nothing wrong to go along with the trend of our generation.  But sincerely getting hooked on to this phenomena has led to a negative stand around the world.

According to Pamela Rutledge,  director of media psychology research centre in Boston.  ” selfies frequently trigger perceptions of self indulgence or attention seeking social dependence that raises the ‘damned if you do-damned if you don’t’ spectre of either narcissism or very low self esteem“.

Other psychologist and doctors indicated selfie taking as not an addiction but a symptom of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

With exceptions of course  that selfies may help feed into one’s pre-existing narcissistic tendencies, which may reinforce those kinds of negative traits. It will be extremely wrong to undersign that we are a generation of a bunch of selfish narcissists.Instead, for a change lets look at selfies in a more positive light.


POSITIVES ABOUT SELFIES

1)LEAVE A MARK :  I truly feel selfies are in a way helping us understand ourselves better. In a world that comprises billions of people putting forth yourself through the means of a selfie via social media can be very fulfilling.  It has the power in itself to feel positive by standing out and getting known by the world.  In short its creating a world of me in the billion.

2) BOOSTS CONFIDENCE : As negatively stated that selfie is related to low self esteem;  to some extent I do feel it helps to boost people’s self esteem. Social media provides a platform in which a like,share, comment on a post can make anyones day. Even for a shy or reserved person it seems as a safe place to create their own world where they are free to open up.

3) CREATE AN IMAGE : Human beings are social animals,  we love forming connections with other human beings.  Through social media connecting and forming bonds with people over the world is so much more possible and easier.  With the help of selfies we can know so much about people and get insight into their world.

A NEW WAY TO CONNECT : To a large extent it fulfills many needs of acceptance,  belongingness, support which is in our very nature and which is why selfies are trending like wild fire. Instagram, Facebook,  snapchat etc etc are filled with millions of posts on new outfits,  mouth watering meals, a loved one, goffy face, famous places.

I hope you enjoyed reading,  keep clicking and make memories.  I would love to hear back from you, and have a glimpse of your world. Send me a selfie 😉

XOXO

Article by : Amanda Fernandes | Psychologist | 🇮🇳

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3 comments on “SELFIE -SYNDROME or REVOLUTION???”

  1. Thank you for this informative article! Selfies are a predictable extension of our chronic turning from living spirit into a false self-processed pretense. Narcissus died enamored by its own image unable to enter into mature relationship.
    While not disputing the fact that a lot of people are morbidly obsessed with their appearance, I guess that the rise of BDD is a reflection of how empty the teenager’s lives have become. Social media crawls into every unoccupied moment and child-centered schools worsen our innate egoism. I am doing a campaign about BDD that could be caused by the constant taking of selfies. I have researched about BDD and its patients ‘see something different when they look in the mirror’. It is a very difficult disorder to diagnose, treat and live with. Only people who have undergone it can truly understand the extreme, chronic emotional pain. More research in this area is essential. I really liked this article because it confirmed my doubts about BDD and selfies. I would appreciate if you provide me with more information about selfies or BDD. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi thank you im glad you found it helpful and its great that you are doing a campaign about BDD. I would like to tell you a little about BDD. According to the DSM 5 BDD is categorized in the obsessive compulsive spectrum as it entails obsessive preoccupations that an aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed, and undertakes extreme measures to hide or fix it. The individual engages in repetitive checking and often avoids social interaction that may ecpose it. Because of these extreme preoccupations these individuals have a lower quality of life and are socially isolated. It also involves suicidal ideations and attempts. Mostly it is under-diagnosed and mistaken for depressive disorders or social phobias. With regard to selfies and social media. It has always been pinpointed as the reason for people to develop a poor body image. But the pressure to look perfect put forth by social media may not be the only reason and it is often very difficult to draw a line of where BDD starts. Several other things like early life events maybe taken into consideration. Very basic information but I hope it has helped you. And all the best with the campaign.

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