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Selfies of Substance
Leah Gans | La Jolla Country Day Junior

A selfie is a photo of oneself, with or without others, taken by a person that is also in the photo. Contrary to the common misconception, a selfie is not simply a photo of someone alone. “I can’t count the number of #selfiesundays I see on Instagram that are not actually selfies,” complained Sarah from TPHS.

Many people argue that selfies are just another example of the younger generation’s self-indulgence and self-imposed isolation from the outside world. “I think these beliefs just show resistance to advances in new technology,” shared CCHS student Zoe. Selfies can be a fun way to share a picture, but they also have been used to start and support important social campaigns, including feminism, anti-bullying, and preventing self-harm. For example; Emma Watson’s “#HeForShe” campaign used selfies and social media to promote gender equality. Another example would be Demi Lovato’s “No H8” campaign where she raised awareness for self-harm by writing No H8 on her face and hands and shared selfies of this on social media and others followed, posting their own selfies. Although there are people who support these campaigns to be trendy, the information is still being communicated and reaching a wide audience.
As CCA student Abby said, “Using selfies to spread awareness is just one way our society uses social media to impact our society in a positive way.”

Selfies are not an example of our generation’s desire to live life at home through a computer. If anything, selfies influence teens to get outside, accomplish something significant and share it on social media. Of course, this leads to the question that I have heard countless times from my mom, grandma, aunts and uncles: “Why would you want everyone to know what you are doing all the time?” The answer to this is simple: I don’t. As TPHS student Kyle explained, “I don’t share on social media when I’m laying in bed binging on ice cream and potato chips watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Social media is meant to share ideas, feelings, and photos of our best selves. It is actually a pretty cool tool for teens to learn how to present themselves properly on any platform.

Selfies may seem like a complete waste of time to our parents and grandparents, and that probably can be true. However, there really is no harm in them and they provide another way to communicate and connect with people and even occasionally inspire social reform movements.


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