"Selfie Bug Is Catching On"

(Kiran Tariq, Karachi)

Today, the word selfie is very common among the young generation. Nowadays, we have liberty to capture pictures anywhere we want. We usually see people taking selfies at marriages, parties, social gatherings, even at offices and educational institutions. Later, these photographs are shared on social websites.

‘Selfie’, a popular trend among many is now linked to mental and low self-esteem disorders. Studies show that selfies are having adverse psychological effects on people. "A selfie creates an impact, more or less, on one’s everyday life, depending on each individual. Posting photos [on social network sites] to seek approval and ‘likes’ from peers as a reward is normal human nature. Whatever people do and then get rewarded for it, they will do again,” But the reward has varying degrees of emotional effects on each individual. Some people are happy after sharing a selfie and getting few likes, while others expect as many likes as possible and become addicted to being liked.

“Conversely, if they feel they don’t get enough likes for their selfie as expected, they decide to post another, but still do not receive a good response. This could affect their thoughts. They can lose self-confidence and have a negative attitude toward themselves, such as feeling dissatisfied with themselves or their body. They frequently post their selfies on social websites, become conscious about likes and comments and if they do not receive desired likes, their self-esteem is damaged and self-confidence is shattered.

This selfie bug is catching on with severe effects on mental health. It is not just the youth, even middle-aged men and women have fallen prey to the obsession. Mental health experts say selfie addiction can be linked to narcissism, low self-esteem and poor body image. Symptoms include irritability, drop in academic performance, and excessive grooming.

It is necessary to control selfie addiction. Instead of taking hundreds of selfies, we should enjoy those moments that would never come again. Moreover, we have to understand that beauty does not lie in looks and appearance alone, rather it is imbued in a loving heart and personal character. Therefore, instead of taking selfies, we should enhance our talent, read books and give time to our family and friends so that we can be happy and successful simultaneously.

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