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03-02-2019, 07:01 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Selfie Harm - asocial media photography impact

Some interesting and bewildering insights into the impact asocial media have on young people:

'Selfie harm' and the damage done by social media
QuoteQuote:
"This is a new, enhanced reality, a world in which teenagers (or even younger kids) can alter themselves digitally within seconds. Mix this readily available technology with the celebrities and influencers flaunting impossible shapes with impossible faces, and we've got a recipe for disaster."


03-02-2019, 07:32 AM   #2
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Wanted to make some snarky comment except that it's no laughing matter. Scary how much influence social media has over young people...
03-02-2019, 07:42 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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As a teacher of teens for more years than I can remember, I well know their haunts and fears of who they are and what others think of them. It is not a new problem by any means think of your own middle- and high-school years, or go back in time to Hans Christian Anderson's The Ugly Duckling. Who among us hasn't tried some sort of an image change at one time or another?

The problem, as implied, is that today these forays into fantasy are not only for the world to see, but also rather permanent. The quick experimental excursion into being a different person which most likely will be quickly forgotten has disappeared with Internet posting. But perhaps an even bigger problem is that the social media thing does not give these young people the opportunity to interact in a one-on-one manner and learn about each other, thus making the visual image more important than ever.
03-02-2019, 07:56 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Teens have no concept of "permanent" and thus engage in behaviors that are recorded and spread far and wide. Its not just the visual either. Just yesterday as I walked up to my teenage daughter and asked "What are you guys doing?" a friend replied (jokingly, he's a great kid) "A drug deal." I hit record on my phone where he couldn't see and said "Sorry, what?" and he repeated himself. I played it for him and asked if the listener could see his face and the circumstances. Lots of serious faces and concerned looks from the teens.

03-02-2019, 09:52 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Strange that we are all perfectly aware that these images are fake and unrealistic, yet assume that young kids are incapable of grasping the concept themselves.


This is not a terrible fraud, it is a failure to teach our kids about the world. If they are capable of not trusting the strange man who invites them to come see his puppies, they are capable of not trusting the flawless face trying to sell them spot cream too.
03-02-2019, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Strange that we are all perfectly aware that these images are fake and unrealistic, yet assume that young kids are incapable of grasping the concept themselves.


This is not a terrible fraud, it is a failure to teach our kids about the world. If they are capable of not trusting the strange man who invites them to come see his puppies, they are capable of not trusting the flawless face trying to sell them spot cream too.
Children's brains are not the same as adult brains. Developmental changes that impact judgement and ability to anticipate really do not stabilize until ~25. This is why children are not able to consent until 18 (and even then ....) despite the online stupidity of setting it at 13.
03-02-2019, 11:14 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I fear this is not limited to "teens"
03-02-2019, 01:01 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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I see one participant in that excercise is 10 years old. Where is parental interest in that case? Sorry, but if you let your kids loose on social media at that age, you've only yourself as a parent to blame when the nonsense gets heavy. It is perfectly possible to screw their devices down and enforce minimum age limits for them as you teach them to be responsible.

03-02-2019, 01:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
I see one participant in that excercise is 10 years old. Where is parental interest in that case? Sorry, but if you let your kids loose on social media at that age, you've only yourself as a parent to blame when the nonsense gets heavy. It is perfectly possible to screw their devices down and enforce minimum age limits for them as you teach them to be responsible.
Well said. +1.
03-02-2019, 06:11 PM - 4 Likes   #10
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This seems overblown in typical internet click-bait fashion.

People have been modifying their self-image for thousands of years (and probably tens of thousands of years given that humans have been using pigments for at least 75,000 years). Cosmetics are both ancient and universal. And a good percentage of cultures dating back to antiquity even accept and promote permanent self-modifications such as piercings, tattoos, and even ritual scarring. Are all those people wrong?

Far from social media creating selfie-harm, it's offered a fabulous new set of tools for manipulation of self-image. These tools are relatively inexpensive (compared to cosmetics), relatively temporary (compared to tattoos) and hyper-creative (compared to anything). What's not to love about that? Rather than being examples of a negative body dysmorphic disorder, many of these SnapChat filter users are examples of positive body polymorphphilia (seeking many different body forms for self-expression). They are playing! It's the hand-wringing psychobabblers that pathologize it and turn something positive and playful into something negative and shameful.

No doubt there have been, are, and always will be a small percent of individuals who self-modify for negative reasons. But rather than stigmatize/control/ban something that many enjoy for fun, it's better to help the minority of abusers who would just find other outlets for their problems if selfie filters weren't around.

Last edited by photoptimist; 03-02-2019 at 07:09 PM.
03-02-2019, 07:50 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwgv001 Quote
I fear this is not limited to "teens"
Exactly. There are plenty of selfie addicted mature and old adults on social sites. I actually believe that selfie editing causes less damage than cruelly detailed modern cameras and modern glass as is. It's not like in film era, digital resolution makes imperfections which are not that visible to the naked eye, big and even scary.
03-03-2019, 01:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
relatively temporary
No. Not once an image is posted to the Internet. Then it takes on a life of its own.

And this is the real problem. As I expressed earlier, most all of us have tried short-term and soon-forgotten image changes in our past – particularly as teens. But in today's cyber-ecosystem anything posted is fair game. It can be copied and reposted and can quickly metastasize itself across a person's whole online world, leaving them with hurt and regret. And that can be catastrophic for a teen.
03-03-2019, 02:29 PM - 3 Likes   #13
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I think it's overstated.

It isn't body dysmorphia to want to post images that have acne cleaned up or where you look thinner. It's just real life. Snap chat and Instagram tend to make it a bit easier by having filters that (unnaturally) do a lot of stuff to airbrush photos and fix all kinds of things. And the fact that you posted an image with your complexion cleaned up or where your eyes look bigger than they are or where you look a little thinner than you are doesn't make you maladjusted, nor will it become a political liability later on in life.

Obviously teens need to be careful what they post. Posts of people partying, using drugs, or are racist in some way certainly could come back later on to effect employment or other aspirations. But that isn't what this post was about. It was simply about whether people are using photo filters because they desperately want to be as beautiful as some of the fake celebs out there, like the Kardashians.
03-03-2019, 06:49 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think it's overstated
A million years of having teens in the classroom tells me they are far more vulnerable than you apparently believe.
03-04-2019, 01:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think it's overstated.

It isn't body dysmorphia to want to post images that have acne cleaned up or where you look thinner. It's just real life. Snap chat and Instagram tend to make it a bit easier by having filters that (unnaturally) do a lot of stuff to airbrush photos and fix all kinds of things. And the fact that you posted an image with your complexion cleaned up or where your eyes look bigger than they are or where you look a little thinner than you are doesn't make you maladjusted, nor will it become a political liability later on in life.

Obviously teens need to be careful what they post. Posts of people partying, using drugs, or are racist in some way certainly could come back later on to effect employment or other aspirations. But that isn't what this post was about. It was simply about whether people are using photo filters because they desperately want to be as beautiful as some of the fake celebs out there, like the Kardashians.
It is body dysmorphic to think that smeared and pinched, fake image is the more appealing version of 'you'. Because it isn't you! It isn't even you with make up in the right light.

But the issue goes deeper than wanting to look like fake celebs.. because the fake celebs are looking more and more plastick each generation. And teen years are when we start really start solidifying more of who we are. It is also one of the more fragile times for ego. People generally want to fit in and be accepted. Kids especially try to make false images of who they are online.. from how they look, to who they know, and how exciting their lives are to prop themselves socially. Just look at instagram.. it has become a cesspool of fakeness. Facebook is not much better.. If this is 'normal' then our society is in trouble..


Eventually kids start to think this is the norm and start to weigh themselves vs that unobtainable 'norm.' That's how bigger issues start..


"Cyber bullying" is a big deal today.. suicides happen because of this garbage. And it isn't just boys attacking boys.. but mean girls attacking other girls based on their looks or lifestyle. The 'haves' setting into the minds of the 'have nots' of the internet what it means to have value and self worth. Keep in mind the internet is closer to the real world for a lot of kids today than the actual real world. And there are a lot of larger, concerning trends online.. such as having a large amount of followers and 'likes'.. usually based on a bunch of lies of who you are in reality.
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