Dangers of taking selfies

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Cartoon by Michelle Bau

Annie Ishimoto, Staff Writer

Did you know that, according to a study at the Pew Research Center, 31 million Instagram photos have been hashtagged “#selfie” and 91 percent of teenagers have posted a photo of themselves online? Taking selfies is popular because it supposedly makes us feel good about ourselves. Also, it is easy to do; hold your iPhone at the desired angle, position your thumb over the button and smile. But not many people know how taking selfies poorly affects people in society.

The action allows us to control our image online and have the power to choose how we look. Many people take selfies because it is a quick way to receive positive comments about their appearance and boost confidence. But psychologist Jill Weber, Ph.D., states that there is a danger that people’s self-esteem may start to be tied to the comments and the amount of likes they get when posting a selfie.

Rather than being based on who a person truly is, selfies are simply based on what a person wants to look like. Dr. Weber explains that taking selfies is a healthy way for teenagers to develop their identity. But with social media networks, a place where it is easy to get quick acts of approval almost instantaneously, this selfie movement can quickly spin out of control. It may even start to feel like an addiction. When a person receives a comment saying “beautiful,” self-confidence is immediately boosted, but when a person receives no likes or a comment like “get over yourself,” self-confidence can go downhill.

Overall, opinions differ whether this selfie trend is capable of being used in a positive way or a negative way, which means it is up to us to shape the future of this habit.