ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SELFIES and Advantages Selfies are photographs taken using amobile phone camera and shared through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels. Selfies have been in existence for long, but they gained popularity with the emergence of smart phones. Selfies helps to document our lives thereby leaving a trace to be discovered by future generations. Notably, they have increasingly grown due to explosion of cell phones with cameras, photo editing and the ability to share such photographs through social media. Patchin and Hinduja (2008) noted that every social media is overflowing with selfies. Selfies presents an evolution in social media as it gives a platform where one can record and post photographs for others to experience and see. Ideally, selfies makes youthful feel appreciated as it helps in polishing their figures in the face of the public. In this vein, a person can post an image in social media to attract comments from online friends. According to Boyd (2008), the modern society is swiftly getting accustomed to selfies, as people increasingly continue to put images and photos alongside online conversations and interactions. This is because photographs and images effectively convey individuals’ reactions and feelings. In addition, selfies causes exhilarating feeling and connectedness since by viewing a photograph of a person you are interacting with gives a sense of human. Selfies makes social media more interesting. In this regard, many social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have come to acknowledge that people make the social site more interesting when they post their photographs (Boyd, 2008). In addition, selfies are known to nudge people as it has been witnessed that people tend to reach their longtime friends when they view their photographs. Selfies have been found to inspire. According to Christakis and Moreno (2009), a person can share pictures such as those of crazy dance, new haircut or outfits which can serve as an inspiration to others. For instance, organizations have been using selfies of celebrities in various campaigns to attract more followers. Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful women in recent times and evidently, her selfies continues to consistently appear in social media sites as an inspiration of other women across the world. Selfies gives authentic representation to people since their photographs acts as a source empowerment. People normally finds a barrage of images online, but with own selfies, one can view own images and for other familiar people. Selfies revolutionized the way individuals gather autobiographical information. This is because they resemble re-writing about oneself (Palfrey, Gasser and Boyd, 2010). Moreover, it reflects individuals’ presentation in the best way possible. For instance, when women put up make ups, they look more presentable and as such appeals more to the audience. Nevertheless, as selfies grow to be one of the modern ways to record private memories, people continue to appreciate it as the single best way of presenting oneself the larger audience. This was evidence by President Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha who posted their selfies during their father’s second inauguration as the president of the United States. Disadvantages Selfies can be damaging to young people who post their photographs with a view of attracting attention and gaining approval from the audience. Notably, numerous selfies are being posted in social sites such as twitter and face book in order to attract comments. Even though such images are posted to attract attention and approval, Ybarra amp. Mitchell (2008), discovered that they can also lead to cyber bullying. In addition, such treatment can lead to decline in self esteem where posted photographs attract negative comments and abuses. According to Selfhout et al. (2009), young people get embarrassed when they post their pictures during important days such as birthdays and fail to attract favorable comments. This is because they see themselves as unpopular. In recent times, there has been an increase in use of selfies and some perpetrators are using other people selfies for illegal means. For instance, they are posted on illegal sites such as pornographic sites. According to Lenhart (2010), it is very easy for a selfies to be intercepted and end up in the wrong hands. This illegal use of other people selfies has devastating effects as it can haunt a person at a later date. According to Weigel (2010), selfies do not promote self expression, but instead is a way of self- surrender. Even though presently, one can grow popular through selfies, it remains by and large a means of indirect control. This is because it seeks to present an individual to the outside world that one cannot control. According to Selfhout et al. (2009), selfies are means of availing oneself to the network which at one point can be invaded by hackers for illegal use. In this vein, selfies only helps an individual to develop as a coherent brand to the audience. References Boyd, D. (2008). Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics. Berkeley, CA: University of California. Christakis, D.A. and Moreno, M.A. (2009).Trapped in the net: will internet addiction become a 21st-century epidemic? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 163(10), 959–960. Lenhart A. (2010). Cyber bullying. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Palfrey, J., Gasser, U and Boyd, D. (2010). Response to FCC Notice of Inquiry 09-94: Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape. Cambridge, MA: Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Patchin, J.W and Hinduja, S. (2008). Bullies move beyond the schoolyard: a preliminary look at cyber bullying. Youth Violence Juvenile Justice, 4(2),148– 169 Selfhout, M., et al. (2009). Different types of Internet use, depression, and social anxiety: the role of perceived friendship quality. Journal of Adolescence, 32(4), 819–833 Weigel, M. (2010). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Ybarra, M.L and Mitchell, K.J. (2008). How risky are social networking sites? A comparison of places online where youth sexual solicitation and harassment occurs. Pediatrics, 121 (2), 15-23.
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