"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou
Written By: Kayla K
March 17, 2015
"54% of young people using Facebook reported that they have experieced cyberbullying on the social network." (nobullying.com) Although selfies can be an expression of our creativity and ourselves, before posting online one has to realize the consequences that simple click of a button has. Bullying, stalking, and self-esteem issues are all things that you should be cautious of before putting up your next, or first selfie. Just about everyone has access to the internet, which means they have access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Anyone can follow or friend request you. The internet gives its users the freedom to say what they want behind a screen where no one can physically see or speak to them. Friends, family, peers, and strangers have the ability to comment and like anything on your page. Commentary varies from a compliment from your aunt in Texas to your best friend saying how beautiful you are to the unfortunate opinions from bullies.Constant comments from strangers asking for your phone number and making remarks about body parts are degrading. Demeaning and derogatory words left in the comments of a young teenager's last selfie can be the root of a low self-esteem.While a portion of your four hundred and fifty three Instagram followers might double tap on your next post, you can never be sure of the comment some of the nasty followers might leave.
When friends jokingly comment “ugly” or “hoe” on your posts it does make you feel a certain way. Almost, degraded and put down. I mean, those are your friends, people who care about you. I get that it’s a joke, but it makes you think. What if people who weren’t your friends and who weren’t joking when they call you names wrote those hurtful words on your posts? If someone actually meant those harsh slurs and purposely commented to spite you, it would hurt. These haters have one purpose, to hurt you in order to make themselves feel better. All of these celebrities and pop-stars tell their fans to “forget the haters,” but it isn’t that easy. If you are lucky enough to not be the victim, then you might not know how it feels to get hated on. These are some examples, incase you’ve been able to dodge the haters. You confidently post that picture of yourself as your new profile photo, only to get negative feedback and belittling words thrown at you. It’s the same idea for many other situations. A student studies and works hard to prepare for a test. They get it back a few days after patiently waiting for the results and it’s a low grade. An athlete exercises and practice Monday through Friday for the big game on Saturday. They end up performing horribly, scoring not baskets, goals, or points.
Regardless of all the bad results and stories we hear that come from social networks, they can also be a beneficial way to reduce self-esteem. This is the more positive view on social media sites. The selfie, previously discussed above, can be a major issue in destroying one's self esteem. It can also be a version of self expression which is extremely important for adolescents as they grow. Learning how to express one's self is crucial for becoming a strong, confident young adult. Schools do not teach their students how to love themselves. Self expression is a form of how to love one’s self. In the work place when we grow up and have to work with other people, or in college when you have to meet new people you want to be outgoing. The selfie is a way to love ourselves and train ourselves to be confident.
So maybe the selfie is just a phase, it might not be a thing in the next 50 years, but right now it is the present. Instead of hating on the present and hating on the next and current generation, we should try to learn from it. The selfie can be either a harmless esteem booster, or a terribly disgusting new way to present narcissism and casue bullying. It is just important that everyone knows the precautions and can choose wisely between their decision of whether to post their next selfie or not. It is fun to express our "selfies." The harmless act goes one of two ways. Hopefully your next or first selfie will boost your selfesteem and help you develop more into that confident person you are striving to be. Let's spread love on selfies and care about each other. It is important to humankind to lift each other up, not bring each down.