You may have noticed the big thing now is taking “selfies”. This is when you take a picture of yourself and share it with others whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, or any number of other social media ways of sharing.
Taking and posting selfies is not a bad thing unless it is used in a bad way. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Girls typically take more selfies than anyone else. Take a look at Facebook or Instagram and you'll see.
- People posting selfies are looking for others to “like” the pictures they post. Quite often people look for validation by what they post. They look for people to comment that they: look good, wore a great outfit, are doing something funny, etc. It's important to keep in mind that many young people seek validation from others for their own self worth and self esteem.
- Teens may take pictures during a time in which they might be feeling on top of the world and their confidence at the moment is soaring so they take a bold picture, possibly doing something they wouldn't normally do. We've seen this happen before when someone takes a picture either drinking, showing a body part, and even on some occasions committing a crime.
- On the other hand, they may be feeling really low and take a picture that's not something they would typically want to share with others.
- Everyone is doing it – adults and kids alike; even celebrities.
- This can be a great way to share your personality and your interests with others.
It's important to remember any picture posted on social media is out there; it is public and chances are someone some day can find it. As we've seen lately from some public figures, sending pictures either via text or posting can come back to haunt you.
What can you do as a parent?
Have a discussion with your teen about posting pictures. Keep an eye on what your teen is posting – sometimes our teens don't make the best choices in what they post. Potential employers and schools can find out a lot about a person by looking them up on social media or even just by Googling someone.
Have family rules and guidelines . Discuss as a family what is appropriate and what is not. Discuss the safety and security issues around posting information and pictures. This is a great way to open the doors of communication with a general discussion.