Are Selfies Harmful for Teens?

July 2, 2018  Source: HealthLine 188

Social media is becoming an increasingly more prevalent force in our daily lives, especially amongst teens and posting selfies has a major part of self-expression. But how has this influenced and changed behavior? A new study published in The Journal of Early Adolescence reported that teens who post more online selfies were more aware of their appearance, which is indirectly linked to an increased risk of negative body image.

Nancy S. Molitor, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois said, “These kids are looking for validation in terms of their physical appearance. So, they may already be predisposed to negative self-image issues before they ever go online to share those photos.”

There are major vulnerabilities for the heavy utilizers of social media which include “picture imperfect” and “the click factor”.

Picture imperfect

A Common Sense Media Report published in 2015 reported that teen girls experience great anxiety regarding the online presence and how they were perceived in the virtual world. When a photo is ignored, the teens become anxious and depressed followed by suicidal tendencies at times. Parents are advised to observe their obsession level between their physical image and selfies.

The click factor

Nancy Molotor stated that there are other concerns apart from the current issues involved by selfie addiction. Nancy said, “These kids have seen a lot of reality shows, and in a sense, many of them are choreographing and directing their own online lives to mirror what they’ve seen.”

She further added, “They don’t even realize they’re not being authentic and they’re not experiencing the moment. And that’s the thing I worry about especially, is they’re going to be so focused on the outer world (How am I looking? What do people think of me?) that they’ll lose touch with themselves.”

By Ddu
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