I wake up , check the time on my phone , and there, in the corner of the screen are my notifications. I already know what’s coming. I have an app on my phone called “Snap Chat ” . This application allows you to send and receive pictures instantly between your friends. When my friends suggested I download this , I was excited at the prospect of sharing with them exciting experiences and cool scenes I came across- little did i know , i would be dragged kicking and screaming into a whirlpool of self obsession and narcissism.
The extent to which some of my contacts use this app makes me wonder , if they are always this busy snap chatting , is there any time left for actually experiencing life? I haven’t been one of the “lucky ones ” to recieve one , but I have heard of selfies which were taken while girls were on the toilet, just because the light was good ! I think this is a very shroud reflection on women’s portrayal in today’s popular culture. We are so influenced by the media and the airbrushed idols we will never look like , that we feel we need to document every part of our lives to gain acceptance and respect from others, namely other women.
This is worrying to me. I’m sure some would argue that it is healthy to have the confidence in yourself to want to share pictures every day . I agree that confidence is important , but is it really confidence we are demonstrating when we are seeking others approval constantly ? One might think I am over reacting but I don’t think someone” snapchatting” a picture of their face full of make up just because they are finished work for the day is a normal expression of self acceptance. I am all for girls feeling confident .It is crucial for feminism for us to feel empowered and as good as anyone else, but when it is going to the other extreme, are these apps healthy for young women’s egos?
I recently read an article about the evolution of the selfie in which it documents how Dr. Amy Slater and Professor Marika Tiggemann of the School of Psychology at Flinders University in Australia found that of the 96 percent of girls who had Internet at home, “72.1 percent upload pictures of themselves”. It also goes on to state how that if you searched for “Selfie” on Instagram, you would be met with over 7 million pictures!
There are now countless websites used by millions each day to document via images , how exciting their lives appear. Twitter, Instagram , snapchat and Facebook are to name but a few of the main sites who promote competing against other girls to see who can make themselves look the best , skinniest and prettiest. If us girls were left to just live our lives and not focus so much on telling others about it , we might actually reach our goals faster. This obsession with plastering yourself all over cyber space is something that should not be taken lightly .
One has to remember that employers have access to the internet as will your children years from now and when you’re a professional woman with a notable career behind you, you don’t want the mistakes of your self obsessed youth resurfacing! I think that this constant stress on woman’s appearance is very self destructive and is not what we should be celebrated for as women. We have so much more to offer than that! We have achieved so much in academics , sciences and arts as well as all having interesting personalities for others to explore. Why can’t this be what we are known for and not our Instagram “no make up ” shots.
The bare faced, make up free shots are worrying as a women going without make up for a day should not be that much of a novelty. Why is it so shocking for a woman to want to roll out bed each morning ,like men do ,and not spend the next hour doing herself up before doing every day tasks? Is this such an alien concept to modern culture that it is needed to be put on the internet as proof? Instead of being so consumed with what other people think of us we should focus on sharing moments with friends and family which , In the closing montage of our lives, will actually mean something .
A person I know once told me something that I think the young women of the self obsessed selfie era should reflect on . – “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they actually thought of you “.
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