Have you noticed that if you spend a day with teens, particularly girls, numerous selfies will be taken? You will be driving along minding your own business when a flash goes off in the back seat . You will be startled, but then you will remember you are transporting a teen or multiple teens so that streak of light isn’t a siren or a UFO — it’s merely another selfie.
Yes, we are raising the #selfie generation. Our kids may be future doctors or lawyers or even nuclear scientists but only if they’re not too busy posting selfies on Instagram to worry about a career.
And, now, the selfie has made headlines for its appearance at college graduation. The University of South Florida has forbid graduates to take selfies on stage during graduation. USF notified graduating students and placed an ad in the student newspaper this week asking them to refrain from taking selfies with USF president Judy Genshaft when crossing the stage for their diplomas. The reason, they claim, is that it will slow down the graduation ceremony. But can the selfie generation really refrain from such a prime selfie opportunity?
The selfie craze has affected high school graduation, too. My daughter recently informed me that graduates at her high school no longer want the prestige of sitting on the stage during graduation. Usually, a stage seat means you’re highly ranked in the class. But sitting on the stage now means you can’t use your cell phones during the ceremony — and that means no “here I am waiting for my turn selfies.” Even worse, it means no texting for a few hours. What American teen could survive that?
As selfies document every accomplishment in my teens’ lives, I’ve been wondering…Are kids today more self-absorbed than we were at their age?
It seems like vanity has become an obnoxious online preoccupation for teens reinforced by a burning need for “likes.” What’s amazing to me is that very few poses are off limits for selfie-taking teens. One mom I know says the sharing of self-portraits on social networking has become such an issue in her house that that she has banned bathing suit selfies.
How many of you have witnessed a teen trying repeatedly to take the perfect selfie? It can involve posing and re-posing so many times that you find yourself saying “enough already!”
So, for parents like me who are reeling from selfie obsession, it’s up to us to shape the future of the habit. Tell you’re kid her or she is lovable and cool and doesn’t need a selfie to prove it. You might have to do it between camera clicks.