Once upon a time in a world before Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram pictures meant something. Usually a digital camera would accompany you on a night out with friends, attend a family reunion, or even a much anticipated wedding or vacation. Nowadays, with a cellphone on hand at all times with more quality resolution then a 1990s Nixon camera, we’re more connected with our images then ever. We can fly to Vegas and Snapchat it to our hundreds of followers instantaneously, gone are the days we’d have to wait until we’re home to upload every sacred photograph. Gone are the days of leaving people to wonder what you’re wearing or what you’re up to these days. It seems we’ve found ourselves in an era of the normalization of narcissism.
How much sharing is too much sharing? How many selfies equate to a selfish individual? And why as a society do we get such validation from how many ” likes 👍🏻” and ” Loves ♥️” we get? When does being so connected leave us too disconnected? Let’s explore this topic, shall we?
📢How Much Sharing Is Too Much Sharing?💬
If you don’t think twice about posting an update for your online friends with your every random thought, the last photo you took on your smartphone, or haphazardly sharing a link that you haven’t even read yet, it’s time to execute some editing skills ASAP, if for no other reason than your own privacy. Your Facebook “friends” do not need to know how many shots of whiskey you had before accidentally walking into a men’s bathroom or what you’re eating at your local TGI Friday’s. They do not need to know that you fought with your significant other, family member or best friend. Trust me when I say, nothing makes me sign off Facebook quicker then that one social media friend who posts about the same cryptic status update day after day, you know the one right? About what a good person they are and how everyone they get involved with blows? Of course you do!While it’s plausible here and there for emotions to get the better of us, if you’re someone who compulsively posts cryptic messages maybe try investing in a journal rather then putting out your dirty laundry for the world to see. That’s right, all you Kanye West’s of the world, get your finger off the Twitter trigger and try writing about your feelings in a more private way or simply call a friend. I’ll Katniss Everdeen it and volunteer as tribute to lend an ear.
Posts regarding things like reunions, day trips, engagements, weddings, birthdays and pregnancies are fine and acceptable to post and share, I mean, what’s the point of social media anyway then? But nobody wants to hear you vent about your job, family, or significant other when we both know darn well you aren’t quitting, cutting ties with or dumping either of these people. Besides do you REALLY want that coming back to haunt you on that ‘on this day’ feature on Facebook? Yeah I thought not…
Which brings me to my next sign you’re sharing WAY too much, you MAY be sharing too much if you post more then four posts on any given day. Also, if you have wondered yourself if you’re posting too much, you probably are. I checked out Julie Spira’s ‘The Rules of Netiquette‘ , which she challenges her readers to ask themselves if they would pick up the phone to call someone 5 to 6 times a day and leave a message. The answer is probably no, right? “You’re oversharing when your posts exceed four on a given day. Think about the habits of those who log on in the morning and at night,” she says. “If it takes them 12 posts of yours to get to someone else’s, they might just start hiding your feed and get turned off.” As someone who’s usually a quick scroller with a once a day post if I see the same person’s statuses clogging up my entire feed before someone else’s comes up that’s grounds for me to unfollow you. My advice? Instead of oversharing, take a break for a day and don’t feel required to post every single day, nobody expects you to and it actually adds value to what you do post when you do. Less is ALWAYS more.
👸🏻How Many ‘Selfies’ Equate to a Selfish Person?🤳🏻
While I applaud those confident or confidence hungry people who can just put themselves out there in ‘selfies’ each day, I also feel like Chris Carter on ESPN by selfie number three of the week, “C’mon Man/Woman!”
As a general rule, I stick to twice a week MAXIMUM for taking a selfie. In fact, most of my “selfies” are throwback Thursday posts and aren’t even recent. I’d prefer photographs which feature myself to also feature my husband and close friends I also do not have the patience to take the same shot 50 times till I’m satisfied with how I look. Even the pictures I take with my friends it can be exhausting taking a photograph that everyone in the picture likes the way they look. Capturing the moment is important but living in it is too.
If you’re someone who posts over two selfies a week, chances are I have or will have unfollowed you at some point during our social media friendship. It’s not that I don’t enjoy our cyber connection, I just don’t want to see your face more then once a week clogging up my newsfeed. Furthermore it comes across as Narcissistic and I’ll tell you why: 1) They allow the selfie taker to control how the image looks and in doing so project the public image they want. 2) That Third selfie of the week from the obsessive selfie taker makes them the primary focus of the picture and this feeds their desire to feel special.
Unless you’re a high power celebrity with a fan base who hangs on your every post or Kim Kardashian giving Kanye West a birthday gift chances are you’re probably coming off as attention seeking to your social media friends.
Why as a society do we get such validation from how many ” likes 👍🏻” and ” Loves ♥️” we get?
Talking about “selfies” is a perfect time to transition into this topic because let’s face it, the compulsive selfie taker wants TWO things which can be broken down into “👍🏻” and “♥️” . As a society, we rely on our peers for love, acceptance and nowadays self worth. The compulsive status or photo poster relies on the feedback from others they receive to feel validated as a person. Here’s the truth though, you don’t NEED the chick that sat next to you in the lunchroom in High School to agree with you for your feelings to matter and be valid. You are beautiful/ handsome in your own way and you don’t need to post a photograph of yourself on social media to prove it. Beauty in the the physical sense is the most superficial kind of beauty in existence.
Want to post or photograph yourself being beautiful? Document yourself doing good for the community, volunteer, do pay it forwards, photograph and bring to social media spot light the issue of homeless vets, and children in our own country that are starving. The best kinda selfie we can take are the kind you won’t find in your stored photos on your phone, it’s in service to others we are truly are beautiful and will feel as good about ourselves as 100 likes on one picture.
In doing for others we won’t have time to worry about what everyone else thinks of us, we’ll be too focused making a difference and in doing that feeling good about ourselves.
In case you haven’t heard it and you need to: you are valued, your opinion is respected and you are beautiful/handsome. You don’t need the “validation” of social media “friends” to feel special because you are. God chose you for a special mission and all he cares about is how well you love others.
Why does being so connected leave us so disconnected?
Being so connected leaves us depressingly disconnected. The images we see in the media often desensitize us to our natural empathetic ability to connect with others. Children raised on the iPhone and iPad can often navigate technology, send texts and video chat better then their parents but they’re often in the news for sending hurtful words, sometimes even causing the death of their peers, because they have no ability to see how their words and actions affect others. We’re so desperate to share our lives with strangers but do we spend enough meals without our cellphones out and at the ready with our family and friends who are presently with us? Let’s take a stand together, and end the normalization of narcissism so rampant in our society. Let’s challenge our children to pay it forward, use a kind word, smile at a stranger and love one another.
📆Monthly Challenge: Hang out with your family and friends without having your cell phone out the whole time. (One group selfie is fine!)
💠Times I mentioned Kanye in a post count: 2
Love you. Mean it.