How ‘Selfies’ Affect Self-esteem


Selfies are simply photos captured by individuals, of themselves, using their camera or mobile, at arm’s length. From well-known political figures, athletes, to the Pope, selfies are the in-thing, in these modern times. The word ‘Selfie’ was even recognized by the Oxford Dictionary as the ‘word of the year’. With social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter packed with practically millions of selfies, should you go with the flow or do otherwise? Selfies are also said to be effecting people’s self-esteem.

Selfies are easy to capture

Taking a selfie involves nothing more than grabbing your smartphone and raising to an angle that captures your face the way you want. The next thing that follows, is it being uploaded to a social networking site, such as Facebook, where the likes and comments start pouring in. Instagram has around 90 million ‘#me’ tags, which are enough proof that selfies are famous. While clicking a selfie daily may seem a fun, harmless practice, it does have its downsides as well.

Comparing with other people’s selfies

While there are numerous people out there, taking selfies, not all are confident of themselves. This causes an individual to overlook the things in their favour, and focus on those that aren’t. You may start comparing your not-so-perfect hair or teeth with the person who gets over 100 likes on their selfie, which is indeed harmful for your self-esteem. After all, every individual is different and selfies should be an outlet for them to express themselves the way they are.

Youngsters seek plastic surgery due to selfies

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery carried out a research study, which revealed that selfies were the primary motivation behind youngsters desiring plastic surgery, in the United States. The study also revealed that in 2013, the number of nose job cases grew by 10 percent from the previous year, because of selfies, making it pretty clear that these seemingly-harmless photos damage the self-esteem of a person. That’s not it; hair transplants increased by 7 percent, while eyelid surgery requests grew by 6 percent.

No likes and comments

While all’s well when people hit the ‘like’ button on a user’s photo, comments are often damaging for an individual’s self-esteem. However, when users don’t get the number of likes or flattering comments they desire, they just end up deleting the photo, to stop reminding themselves of the fact that just a handful of people liked their photo.

Pressure to upload selfies regularly

Though there are many teenagers that simply love admiring themselves by clicking selfies, some don’t but are forced to do so. Dr Deirdre Cowman, a lecturer of psychology at All Hallows College, in Dublin, notes that parents were deeply troubled by the fact that their teenagers are forced into uploading their selfies online. Dr Cowman further explains that selfies, in no way, reflect reality, for the simple reason that they are carefully posed for, and pass through heavy filters. It can definitely be concluded that selfies do more harm than good, to an individual’s self-esteem.

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