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Opinion: Selfies and narcissism do not go hand in hand

In the past decade, many technological advancements have changed how the current generation acts, thinks, and works. People are increasingly reliant on their smartphones and its camera has given forth to an entire aspect of expression: the selfie. Most teenagers (and many adults) have taken at least one selfie in their lifetime. Teenagers, however, are…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/shaneli1020/" target="_self">Shaneli Mirpuri</a>

Shaneli Mirpuri

October 5, 2015

In the past decade, many technological advancements have changed how the current generation acts, thinks, and works. People are increasingly reliant on their smartphones and its camera has given forth to an entire aspect of expression: the selfie.

Most teenagers (and many adults) have taken at least one selfie in their lifetime. Teenagers, however, are infamous for their supposedly “narcissistic” and “self-absorbed” selfies, but in reality, there is so much more to a selfie than just a picture.

Selfies facilitate self-confidence and self-exploration in many ways, whether showing of one’s fashion sense or a passion that reinforces one’s social identity. A picture of someone in a cultural outfit or a paint-stained shirt shows a lot more about that person than just what is on the surface. 

The boost in self-confidence should not be mixed up with self-absorption either. Today’s society sends double messages towards teenagers by simultaneously telling them to be themselves while also criticizing all body types and different fashion tastes, but selfies let them feel confident about themselves for once without any judgement. Posting the selfies on social media provides the exact same confidence boost as friends leave flattering comments and “like” the photo. 

However, many people still see selfies as unnecessary and narcissistic. For instance, on Sept. 28, a group of sorority girls attended an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game and when the cameras caught them taking an abundance of selfies, two game announcers Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly condescendingly joked about them and what was wrong with the younger generation for almost two minutes.

What Berthiaume and Brenly, along with many others, do not realize is that to many teenagers, selfies are actually a truly fun way to bond. Taking pictures with friends not only saves the memories forever, but also provides a lot of fun since it involves making faces, talking, and most of all, laughing. Though it may not be the way elder generations would describe fun, it should not stop the younger generations from having their fun.

Furthermore, selfies are not actually a new concept. Selfies are nothing more than self-portraits, which have existed for centuries. Even in the BC era, the wealthy would commission self-portraits and beginning in the fifteenth century, artists used mirrors to paint themselves.

As the camera was invented and evolved, we have arrived at the easiest way to take a picture of oneself, with simply the tap of a button on a smartphone. Selfies have existed for centuries in all different forms – maybe it is finally time to fully embrace them and have a little fun, without any judgment.

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