Our generation has been given many labels, such as entitled, selfish, and narcissistic. As much as I dislike to generalize my peers (I have a lot of respect for what we’ve done), I feel that we do have to question the validity of these labels, particularly that of narcissism.
Our generation has made incredible leaps and bounds in society. We’re going down in history as the “Technology Era.” We’ve discovered how to connect with people around the world — by phone and face-to-face (or screen to screen). There’s instant messaging, conversations with pictures alone, and even reversible cameras. It’s truly incredible how far we’ve come.
However, this also lends more time devoted to ourselves and our image. In a culture that encourages a healthy self-image and self-confidence, we are on the precipice of being a narcissist society (if we haven’t reached it already).
We are constantly concerned about our social media image and presence. On average, women take about six selfies before posting the one they’re satisfied with, while men tend to be satisfied after four. People have become depressed and come close to suicide because they cannot take the “perfect” selfie. People get plastic surgery to perfect their selfies. There are even tutorials on how to do this! How obsessed are we with ourselves? Where do we draw the line between narcissism, self-love, and confidence?
Filters and lenses on Snapchat are a load of fun, but they certainly take up a lot of time when we are taking picture after picture, trying to get the right angle. Not only that, but now we have selfie videos. We can make videos of ourselves and even change our voice. We can become someone else with just a few clicks. This heightened self-interest walks a fine line between harmless fun and a self-centered culture.
Taking pictures and expressing ourselves isn’t a bad thing until we live for the selfie. It becomes dangerous when it starts to affect our mental health and self-image. When we feel the need to change our image for a better picture and more likes, there’s a problem. Self-love isn’t changing who we are, it’s accepting ourselves for who we are and finding that beautiful. Changing our faces for a better picture and hating ourselves because we don’t conform to the “standards” of beauty for a selfie is counterintuitive to self-love. In fact, it’s self-deprecation.