Social media sites are overrun with selfies. It seems like everyone takes them and everyone posts them. They are so common in the social media world that no one gives them a second thought anymore (unless you ask someone from an older generation – they think you’re crazy). They seem pretty harmless – they’re just pictures after all – but here are 5 reasons why you should tread carefully around selfies.
1. Selfies encourage you to notice your flaws.
Think about all the photos you have sitting in your camera roll that you would never, ever post online because your hair isn’t quite right or your smile isn’t perfect or your cheeks are too red. Think about all the filters and editing options that Instagram (and Snapchat) gives us to work with; they are all there to help us “cover-up” flaws or fix lighting issues. No girl just posts a selfie. We spend a lot of time (too much time) picking a picture out and fixing it to make ourselves “insta-worthy”.
2. Selfies can end up becoming staged photos of yourself.
Since you’re in charge of the camera, you have the ability to choose how you look and how you position your face for the picture (everyone has their selfie face and angle, me included). Sometimes this isn’t a big deal but other times selfies can end up being fake versions of yourself. I’ll speak for myself when I say that I’m always wary of girls who post selfies that don’t look authentic.
3. Everyone has a selfie smile and more often than not, it’s not your genuine smile.
This is a lot like reason number two. Genuine smiles are much better than selfie smiles. And I think we can all agree that genuine smiles are much more attractive because it’s the actual expression you make when you are authentically happy.
4. Too many selfies can make you seem egocentric.
My business professor once told my management class that we needed to be careful about what we post online because employers use Facebook and other social media sites to check out potential interns and employees. She asked us what we thought recruiters didn’t like to see on social media sites and we told her too much partying evidence but she responded that in her experience, she looked to see how many selfies were posted because too many selfies suggest that the person is self-centered and egocentric and employers do not want these characteristics in an employee.
5. Selfies are often used as self-esteem boosters.
I have lost count of how many times I’ve seen girls post selfies and caption them with “omg not feeling pretty today” or “please excuse my face” or a litany of other captions that girls use to garner attention. You are beautiful and you don’t need to put yourself down in order for other people to affirm your beauty. Also, when you post selfies looking attention, you end up relying on other people to feel good about yourself. Your worth should not be determined by the number of likes or comments you get on a selfie. You're worth so much more than that.
Research also shows some crazy statistics about selfies. One specific report states that young adults will take 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. This is an insane (and slightly disturbing) number - let’s try not to live up to that statistic, people.With all that being said, let’s also acknowledge for a second that selfies are not always the end of the world. However, before you post your next selfie maybe think about why you’re posting it. Ask yourself if the picture is genuinely you. Pay attention to how much you alter your photo before you post it on Instagram. After all, the real you is the best you (cheesy maybe, but true nonetheless).