Momservation: You can’t spell “selfie” without narcissism.
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I think this generation of youth should be dubbed “The Trawling Generation.” Seriously. In the history of time there has never been such a mass rush of youth eager to take up the profession of fishing.
Fishing for compliments, that is.
And their new-age tool of the trade?
Cast into the right crowd and you’ll get the compliments you’re fishing for:
OMG! Why are you so beautiful?!
I hate you! You are perfection!
This is too cute!
TBH: You’re cool
So jealous! Why can’t I be like you?
Hecka tight bro!
Heady stuff—instantaneous feedback everyone telling you how wonderful you are—I get that.
But fling your net too far—to followers and “friends” you don’t know, those hiding behind anonymity, those who derive their attention from being cruel and crass, or the uncontrollable tide of going viral-–and all it takes is one insensitive or profane remark to cut the line of validation. Reeling in instead: shattered ego and devastation.
Sure, on the periphery selfies seem harmless and just another teen trend that will go the way of bellbottoms, big hair, grunge, and skinny jeans. (Or maybe not since “selfie” was just added to the Oxford dictionary.)
Not so harmless though when kids take selfies to a dangerous level like they currently are on Twitter under #Selfie Olympics.
As a mother I find the selfie trend disturbing. Here I am trying to raise self-assured teenagers, whom I hope will then blossom into trail-blazing young adults, eventually becoming substantive adults—can this be the outcome from a youth society that can’t seem to function without constant validation?
A positive self-image should come from within instead of needing to be artificially generated and sustained.
So sure, as the current captains of our children’s ships we could go the route of setting limits like the 5 Rules for Taking #Selfies on Instagram. (Favorite line: Essentially, ask yourself, “What would Kim Kardashian do?” Then do the opposite.)
But I’d like to take it one step further:
Let’s pull in the nets kids. Reel it in. Dock the social media ship and take a little shore leave from habitually checking status updates for some instantaneous validation.
You want to feel good about yourself? Try getting your “Likes” from the one person who really matters: You.