Tech Tips for Students & Families

from Mrs. Martin @ the HHS Library

Examining Selfie Culture

Many parents have caught their kids in the act of a selfie photo shoot, using cell phones to take pictures of themselves. Kids speed through a series of facial expressions, snapping and then studying dozens of digital self-portraits as parents stand by, puzzled, wondering whether or not to comment. Although it's easy to shake our heads over kids' fascination with selfies, the practice has clearly been embraced by all age groups.

"People take selfies for a wide variety of reasons: to show off and get props, to celebrate an occasion or a moment, to share an event, to mark something personally memorable, to share something fun with friends, to note an achievement, to make fun of oneself. In all the conversation about selfies, people seem to miss the fact that tons of selfies are silly, self-deprecating and fun."

Read more in The Huffington Post article, "Are You a Narcissist If You Take Selfies?"

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Selfies as Self-Expression - A Parents' Perspective

  • Take the pulse on their posting before you jump to the conclusion that their behaviors are narcissistic. Ask why they like taking selfies, where and how they share a selfie, and what their friends say when they post a selfie. Then you can determine whether or not the selfies are something to worry about and tailor your responses accordingly.
  • Clarify family expectations about digital footprints and what kids should and shouldn't share online. Help kids think through potentially sticky situations before they arise - rather than after an image has already gone viral.
  • Encourage critical consumption of what they see on their newsfeeds. Debunk the notion that everyone always looks as perfect and happy in person as they do on social media. Focus on other aspects of your kids' best qualities (not just appearance) when you give feedback at home, and help them practice giving their friends positive reinforcement that isn't based entirely on looks.

Read more in "Connecting Families: Selfie Culture" from Common Sense Media.