Narcissism and Selfies

5:52:00 pm

Our generation(children of the late 80s and 90s) have been tagged the "ME" generation. This is so because there has been a tremendous increase in the awareness of "Self". We are most times, whether consciously or unconsciously, all about "ME".
As early as the 15th century, according to Dr. Terri Apter, psychology lecturer at Cambridge University: "People who had access to self representations were keen to make use of them. In this way, people could control the image projected and of course, the fact that the image was on display marked the importance and status of the person represented". How many photos of you are in your phone right now? These days, we take almost 1 trillion photos a year. (To put that into context, that's more photos every few minutes than in the entire 19th century) And majority of these photos are selfies. Self portraits, usually taken with a smartphone. Presently, nearly 300 million Instagram photos had been tagged with the selfie label.
Selfies can be silly, sexy or sentimental. It can capture the moment just right or exactly what you don't like about your face. "Selfie"  was first uttered in 2002 and in 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary called it the word of the year after its use skyrocketed to 17,000% in just a year.
While a quick selfie post to one's favorite social medium site (BBM, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp...) may appear to be a fun and artistic act, the reason behind the posts leads to a line of insecurities. Instagram is the selfie haven, holding over 200 million users on a monthly basis. Yet, these questions arise: What is the real motive behind posting a photo of oneself? Are we posting selfies to get approval from others? To get more likes and comments? Or are we simply capturing that moment we are in? Trying to make a sort of documentary of our daily lives? Or are we simply fascinated with the reflection of ourselves? Are we becoming like Narcissus?
Who is Narcissus? Ok, let me gist you about him. According to Roman mythology, Narcissus' parents were worried because of the extraordinary beauty of the child and asked Prophet Teirasias what to do, regarding their son's future. Teirasias told them that the boy would grow old only if "he didn't get to know himself". When Narcissus was sixteen, he was walking in the woods one day and Nymph Echo saw him and fell madly in love with him. She started following him and Narcissus asked, "Who's there?", feeling someone following him. Echo responded, "Who's there?". And that went on for some time until Echo decided to show herself. She tried to embrace Narcissus but he stepped away from her, telling Echo to leave him alone. Echo was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in glens, until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge(no-nonsense woman) heard the story and decided to punish Narcissus. She made Narcissus see himself in a pond. I'm sure you know what this means. Narcissus saw his reflection and was amazed by its beauty. He must have thought to himself, "Ehnn!!! So I'm handsome like this. Chai! See fine boy!" Narcissus spent a few years at that pond,staring at his reflection, he then figured out that this love of himself, this self-love could not be addressed, he killed himself. Hence we can now tell where the term "Narcissism" originated from and what it means.
Narcissism is a concept in psychoanalytic theory, which was introduced in Sigmund Freud's essay, "On Narcissim" in 1914. Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes. It is also considered a social or cultural problem. It is also a psychological disorder. So, with this selfie craze going on around, are we gradually becoming narcissistic? This craze has swept over social media with Kim Kardashian and even President Obama snapping pictures on the go. Don't take this whole thing wrongly though. Selfies have a way of improving your self esteem . They capture a treasured memory, they remind you of a time when you feel great about yourself. They encourage others to smile. They encourage you to embrace your beauty. Selfies can turn your frown upside down. But remember, everything you do should be done in moderation. And again, what is the motive behind the selfie? Many people believe those who post multiple selfies in a day are narcissistic.
As the selfie craze continues, it may lead to more insecurities as some people are already battling with low self esteem issues, and irritation from others. Although selfies may seem innocent and entertaining, the reasons behind posting them, whether they be low self esteem or an act or narcissism, may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Therefore, are selfies good or bad for us? It all depends on how and how often we turn to them. A great middle ground can be found. The great middle ground, MODERATION.
xo, Evita.

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  1. Soooo true about selfie. .It actually has a way of glorifying your self esteem..It makes you confidant as well..nice one darl

  2. That so true about this generation true talk.


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