Through the introduction of social media, people have been able to express themselves in ways that were not available in the past. People can share how they feel, where they are and where they are going, amongst others things.
But one is not limited to words when comes to what is taking place in their life, they can also take pictures of themselves. And while one can share pictures of where they have visited or the time they have spent with friends or family, another option is for them to take close up pictures of their face.
When one takes these kinds of pictures, they might be in front of something significant but at the same time, they might not. The primary focus of the image is then their face and what is taking place behind them is therefore irrelevant.
A Matter Of Degree
However, although some people might share a close up image now and then, there are other people who share them on a regular basis. There are also going to be people who don’t share many ‘Selfies’, and then this may change for a certain period of time.
This shows that this is not black and white and how people’s photo sharing behaviour can change. And when someone increases the amount of Selfies they share, it is going to stand out more than it would if someone is always sharing them.
A Behavioural Change
It stands out because their behaviour has changed and while another person’s behaviour may stand out, it is normal. There may have been a time when their behaviour would have stood out but as time has passed, it is probably what people have come to expect of them.
So when it relates to someone who has changed their behaviour from that of someone who rarely shared them, to someone who is, more or less, constantly sharing them, it could be said that one’s emotional state has recently changed.
This could be a sign that something minor has occurred in their life or it could be something far more significant. Their pictures could then be a cry for help and a way for them to receive some kind of support and validation during a challenging time in their life.
And through the responses that one receives from the Selfies they share, one will then be able to change how they feel. The affect they have on their emotional state could make a massive difference and play a part in one being able to get over a tough period in their life.
One may have been through a break up and therefore not only do they feel bad, but their self image may have been affected. The responses they receive from others cause them to feel better and to reinforce their self image.
This could also go the other way though, as one might not get the responses they desire. Or the external feedback that one does receive from others might work in the beginning but as time passes, it might start to wear off.
The law of diminishing returns is then at work and one will need to do more in order to experience the same effect. So one might start to take more Selfies or they could even go even further and come to the conclusion that they need to change their appearance.
This could be a new hair style, different makeup, a tan or even some kind of cosmetic enhancement. Here, one has allowed the opinions of others to define how they feel and their level of self worth.
And while human beings are interdependent and therefore need to receive positive feedback from others, one is going to create problems for themselves when they become dependent on the views of others.
Here, one is in a position where they are no longer in control of how they feel or how they see themselves. And when one is always posting Selfies and this doesn’t relate to the odd occasion, they could also be in the same position.
The Modern Day World
One argument could be that posting Selfies is just a reflection of the modern day world and is a consequence of modern technology and there is probably an element of truth to this. However, just because something has become normal or is a common occurrence, it doesn’t mean that it is therefore healthy.
For one thing, today’s society doesn’t exactly entourage people to be themselves or to realise that they are enough. And people’s childhoods rarely set them up to feel that they are enough or give them the ability to regulate their emotions.
These two factors can then cause people to be dependent on the views of others when it comes to how they feel and see themselves. So when one can’t regulate their emotions, they’re going to need to find ways to regulate how they feel. And posting a Selfie is one way for someone to regulate their emotions.
And while one may have a self image that is relatively strong in the beginning, through opening themselves up and looking for validation from others, it could start to diminish as time goes by. One can begin to base their value on how people respond to their images.
This shows that it is not just the people who lack a strong sense of self and are dependent on others who can be drawn into this; it can also have an effect on people who were initially strong. The reason they were sucked in could be due to a current challenge in their life.
So then, posting Selfies is clearly not something that is black and white, there are many different factors involved. And taking pictures of oneself and then sharing them with the world is not something that one should feel ashamed of.
One is entitled to share pictures of themselves, however, it will be important for one to be aware of why they’re doing what they doing and the affect it is having on their life. And if one is experiencing some kind of challenge, is unable to regulate their emotions and/or has a disempowering self image, then it will be important for them to reach out for the right support.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.