‘Selfies can damage your mental health’
The smartphone evolution has also brought about the selfie revolution and that’s becoming more of an addiction than a simple craze. But does it come with health repercussions? Well, some experts believe so.
According to psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, “selfie culture” could be causing to the mental health of young people.
She, in an interview with Standard UK, believes that a rise in eating disorders and mental illness among “millennials” is partly linked to the time they spend analysing themselves on social media and treating themselves as a product.
The 44-year-old author of Unfollow urged people not to “put all of their self-esteem eggs in one basket” and to focus on attributes other than beauty.
She said: “We know that there is a rise in body image eating disorders. We know that millennials have the worst depression of any generation.
“I don’t think we’re ready to make causal associations, but I don’t think it would be intellectually dishonest to say there may be something with the fact that we are involved in assessing ourselves for far too long.
“If I wanted you to feel bad about yourself, I would get you to look at pictures of yourself and ask you to pick out the bad ones and ask you to ‘fix’ them. That’s essentially what we’re doing, day in, day out.
“So what we see with selfie culture is the editing and re-editing of identity. ‘Should I take my selfie with my guitar, should I show my legs which is the best part of me? This filter or that?’
“It’s about, ‘How should I edit myself, cut myself up… so you’ll consume me in a way that’s pleasurable to you?’ Rather than me liking who I am.”
Lead by example and try to switch off your mobile phones sometimes. Whether it’s around the dinner table or after 8pm, no phones. I think that’s not a lot to ask, she suggests.
When spending time as a family such as watching TV, charge your phones in a different room.
“We need to ensure that we reflect back to young people what we know about them but they are not necessarily showing. So when your kid shows you their 12,000th selfie, you may pick out and compliment them on something that isn’t apparent in that picture.”