‘But first, let me take a selfie’

Selfies lead to mental illnesses


Kori Degutis / Legacy Media

According to Wired Online, 79 million photos on Instagram fall under the “selfie” category.

A social media epidemic is sweeping the nation as teens become obsessed with taking “the perfect selfie.” This mania has caused teens to make drastic decisions that could alter their path in life.

“I believe selfies are a waste of time,” sophomore Comoya Matthews said. “Why spend an hour taking multiple pictures, then two more hours searching through those pictures to find the best one?”

The madness started with Danny Bowman, a teenager who dropped out of school in order to lose weight and take 200 selfies a day. Bowman currently suffers from Body Dysmorphia, which is a form of anxiety that forces a person to constantly worry about their appearance. His parents, who are both certified mental health professionals, say that technology and social media can be the cause of multiple mental issues. These illnesses have been linked to many causes, such as cyberbullying. According to Dosomething.org, nearly 43 percent of kids have been bullied online and 90 percent of kids have seen bullying on social media and ignored it.

“People do not realize when they post a picture of themselves online that it can quickly spiral out of control. It becomes a mission to get approval and it can destroy anyone,” Danny Bowman said in a television interview.

According to data from Samsung Electronics, selfies make up one-third of all photos taken by people aged 18 to 24.

“I believe everyone has their own reason to publish their pictures on the Internet, but I don’t think it’s necessary,” junior Deodane Moreno said. “People can do whatever they want, but I believe that it can be a bit overwhelming when people start to take random selfies for no reason.”

Some teens believe that selfies are a good way to become more socially active, but the corrupted side of selfies foreshadow social media’s dark future in narcissism and self-obsession. A study conducted by “The Washington Post” stated that three out of 10 teens said that social networks made them feel more outgoing.

“Selfies are pointless,” sophomore Joshua Rupert said. “I believe taking too many will make people narcissistic and anti-social, because they become too wrapped up in social media.”