Social media is a place where not only parents but also our children, take selfies to express their personalities as well as capture happy moments with family and friends. But what is the line between a normal selfie taker and a selfie addict?
The article below will help you understand whether your child has signs of selfie addiction, is it a sign of mental illness, and the potential risks of posting a selfie on the social network so that you will be able to protect your child more promptly and effectively.
What is Selfie Addiction?
You also already know that a selfie is a picture taken with a smartphone. You can take a selfie by holding your phone or camera, using a selfie stick or taking a photo through the mirror. Although selfies have been around for more than a century (according to Public Domain Review), selfie number is increasing due to the explosion of smartphones with front cameras and photo-enabled social networks like Instagram, Snapchat.
Moreover, many children take selfies because on these social networks there are filters to smooth skin, make eyes bigger, make lips redder as well as other cute filters.
Signs that your child has a selfie addiction
Help your child answer the following questions:
- Do you usually spend more time taking selfies?
- Do you feel very uncomfortable one day when you don’t take a selfie?
- Do you spend a lot of time thinking about how your selfie plan would look like?
- Do you feel the urge to take more and more selfies?
- When you post a new selfie, do you become irritable or frustrated when no one comments or likes it?
- Do you take so many pictures that it negatively affects your relationships, work or school, such as on family picnics?
- Does posting selfies make you feel more important?
If 4/7 the answer is yes, your child has a constant urge and desire to get the perfect shot and is constantly checking on likes and comments on it. This may be the beginning of the symptoms of narcissism and self-esteem – the consequences of selfie addiction.
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Symptoms of selfie addiction
Selfie addiction symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the problem:
- Borderline Selfitis: This is the early sign of selfie addiction when your child tries to take a lot of selfies but doesn’t post them on social media.
- Acute Selfitis: When your child is addicted to taking selfies and posting them on any social network.
- Chronic Selfitis: When your child takes pictures continuously and cannot be stopped.
Is selfie addiction a sign of mental illness?
According to experts, about 40% or more than teenagers in developed countries are addicted to taking selfies with varying degrees from mild to severe. The explosion of smartphones around the world, Wi-Fi speeds and cellular data packets have made this scenario worse.
According to experts, the selfie addiction reflects a combination of many different types of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Some people may experience underlying stress disorder, self-obsession and narcissism, obsessive-compulsive behavior, anxiety, mania or even bipolar disorder. A new study suggests it may even be linked to body dysmorphia – excessive worrying of small defects in the body.
Taking selfies can lead to narcissism, addiction, and mental illness. The cause of this syndrome usually comes from spending a lot of time using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.
Scholars from Carnegie Mellon University and the Indraprastha Delhi Institute of Information believe that India has the highest number of selfie deaths in the past two years. According to the study, at least 25 people have died worldwide since March 2014 after trying to make their photos the most different when taken in dangerous places.
The potential danger of constantly taking selfies
Sexual attackers. A photo of your child in revealing clothing can be downloaded and circulated by them on some shady websites, and worse when the pictures are related to children. Therefore, limit your child’s exposure to a photo of himself wearing revealing clothing, such as swimwear.
Without prompt advice, from taking selfies in revealing outfits, your child will begin to take and send sensitive photos of his or her body (also known as Sexting), once those photos are sent, your child’s friends can screenshot, and therefore, those photos can exist forever on the Internet. Research also shows that early access to pornography leads to this Sexting behavior, so many parents have downloaded porn filtering tools to protect their children from malicious content, minimizing the risk of Sexting.
Pictures taken by a smartphone can contain geotags, and attackers can fully know where to take the photo. After reviewing many of your child’s published photos, they can figure out your family’s routine and break into your home, or even kidnap your child. No parent wants this to happen.
How can you keep your kids safer when posting selfies?
Here are three tips you can take to protect the photos you post on the Internet so that only your trusted friends can see them.
Don’t leave selfies in public
When your child posts photos on social networks like Facebook and Instagram, they can control who can see their photos. With Facebook, help your kids adjust their settings so that only their friends can see the photos. If you are concerned about your child’s photo viewers being inappropriate, be careful and talk to your child about making friends with people they know and have met in real life.
With Instagram, your child can make their posts private, which will only allow approved followers to view your photos. Once again, educate your child to understand that only people you know can follow.
Photo geotag is geotagging your images to help Google understand where the image is. Social networks like Facebook automatically remove a photo’s Geotags, but other photo sites like Flickr, Picasa, and your child’s website or blog will keep the data attached to the photo. So make sure your child clears the photo’s metadata before posting.
Delete the card
Social networks like Facebook give users the ability to tag their kids in their photos. Due to the possibility that your child might be tagged by any friend at any time, you should have your child check regularly with their social media accounts to catch and remove any unwanted tags. Whenever you’re tagged, Facebook notifies you of it, allowing you to easily catch your tags.
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