You open your eyelids just wide enough to clearly zoom the camera lensto expose your iris’s natural color, while suggesting a surprised look. Click. You’ve captured the moment and applied the perfect filter to enhance your iris’s deep blue color. In an instant, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook give the whole world access to see you ‘surprised’.
You observe the number of likes, and heart-shaped emoticons filling up your phone screen, and eagerly repeat the process.
That go-to face and filter all make up a selfie—a self-portrait taken through the use of a smartphone.
Clearly, we enjoy taking pictures of ourselves. However, the growing trend of self-portrait after self-portrait has got the Highlander thinking. Is this an issue to be concerned about?
The revolution of selfies has led to ‘selfie syndrome’—the infinitely trending population of individuals who suffer from excessive selfie postings on social media.
Forget the selfies we observe being taken in public, it’s impossible to go on social media sites without seeing selfies posted daily. Typing the hash tags ‘selfie, ‘selfiesunday’ or even ‘selfienation’ on Twitter and Instagram will allow you to observe millions of these selfie results being posted at a time on your search.
Selfies are amusing. But when they are continually posted, they can appear narcissistic and annoying to the users who are subjected to them. The fact that one day out of the week is entirely dedicated to posting pictures of ourselves on social media is saddening. #selfiesunday.
Social Psychologist, Dr. Dina McMillan in an interview with Cleo magazine discusses the selfie spectrum.
“There are many reasons why people post multiple selfies,” Dr. McMillan said. “We can often be tagged in photos where we’re not looking our best, so selfies allow us to control how we present ourselves. It can also be an attention-grabbing mechanism or a sign someone is acting on impulse rather than thinking the repercussions through.”
While there is nothing wrong with taking/posting the occasional selfie, the initial reasoning behind the selfie should solely be for your own enjoyment, and should not be taken into consideration as a factor for assurance.
We all know that one girl. No matter what time of day it is, she’s always glued to her phone, as if the camera is her best friend. The minute you look over your desk, you can already see one of the ‘cute’ faces she pulls out, as she clicks away at her phone camera.
However, after seeing the number of likes she received, ‘cute’ just didn’t cut it. Instead she competes with herself to see how many more people will like her new post.
Individuals who suffer from selfie syndrome often face issues with self-confidence. They reassure themselves through the feedback they receive from their selfies, as a result from posting them on social media.
The Highlander presents solutions to overcoming selfie syndrome.
Ask yourself why the selfie is being taken and if it needs to be taken. Rather than take selfies, create a list of potential activities that you know you’ll enjoy and receive positive attention from. Other activities will regulate the amount of selfies you post.
Be conscientious about what types of selfies you are posting. These selfies should make you happy and be appropriate.
Don’t take selfies personally. Posting a selfie on social media is for your own enjoyment. Don’t focus your level of happiness off of the number of likes you receive. Selfies are not a symbol for social status; don’t place them in that regard.
Go ahead and share that photo of you with your new haircut or loving the beach. Just beware of #selfiesyndrome.