If you’ve been on Facebook, chances are you’ve seen a selfie. A young person will post a picture of themselves while doing something fun or exciting, with a new purchase, or even during a time of duress or sadness. This event is creeping into the ranks of the older generation, even to those as prestigious as President Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial service with Danish Prime-Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt and British Prime-Minister David Cameron.
“It’s a matter of teens and young adults trying to define themselves, says teen development specialist, Dr. Robyn Silverman. “They crave positive feedback to help them see how their identity fits into their world. Social media offers an opportunity to garner immediate information. The problem is they are looking in a dangerous place.”
People post this images to see how many “likes” they can get, which is a positive thing, which leads to good feelings. The opposite side of that sword, however, is that negative reactions can be had as well, and those negative comments are available for everyone to see.
Is it Ok to Post?
How can teens or young adults prevent themselves from potential cyber-bullying? One parent asked her kids to ask themselves the following questions before posting anything online-
1. Am I posting something I’d be embarrassed for my family to see? If yes, stop. Once you put that image out there, it can be hard to remove.
2. Am I posting because I’m hoping someone will make me feel better about my choices? If yes, then stop. Remember whose opinion truly matters to you then ask them.
3. Am I posting to hurt someone else? If yes, then stop. Cyber-bullying is not ok, for any reason.
Obviously Obama probably doesn’t need any validation from his peers to boost his confidence (or maybe he does, being President of the United States is a daunting task), but many teens and young adults just want to fit in with their peers. Hopefully they can learn to look in the proper places rather than running the risk of rejection and disappointment.