Why This Generation's Obsession With Selfies Isn't Really A Bad Thing

by Becky Wells

As recently discussed, our brains are trained to build confidence as we embrace the beauty in our flaws and individuality.

Taking a simple photo of ourselves to capture a hairstyle, new lipstick or even just because we feel good about our appearance is surely the perfect way to embrace, accept and love our beautiful selves.

Yet, the humble "selfie" has received plenty of criticism across social media. It's a route into vanity and egotism, a way of encouraging self criticism and even causing a rise in personality and mental disorders, according to recent articles.

While posting information and photos on the Internet can, of course, open ourselves up to criticism and negativity, the act of sharing and discussing important moments in our lives can also bring with it plenty of positive results.

Maybe, instead of the negativity, selfies are a way of allowing people to be proud of their appearances, increasing self-belief and simply showing off new earrings.

After all, if someone is happy enough to post a selfie, it simply means that person is happy with how he or she looks, and surely, that can only be a good thing.

Dr. Andrea Letamendi, a clinical psychologist and research fellow at the UCLA, says:

Self-captured images allow young adults to express their mood states and share important experiences.

Teen Vogue also spoke to Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D, the faculty director of the media psychology program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, who praises the “cult of the selfie,” saying:

It celebrates regular people. There are many more photographs available now of normal people rather than models.

Perhaps we should embrace the selfie a little more, and enjoy the wealth of pro points that the simple self-facing camera offers.

Confidence Boost

Obviously, if you want to take a selfie, it’s because you’re happy with your appearance. And, that’s amazing! Whether you’re showing off your new haircut, highlighting your carefully selected outfit or just because you feel confident today, surely, it’s only fair we enjoy our self-confidence.

There’s so much negativity that floods the Internet, it can get quite miserable. Any chance to show some happiness and confidence is a good thing.

You Are The Photographer

How many times has someone taken a memorable photo with you, and then demand it be deleted? The pros of being your own photographer means you can be as picky as you want.

You can take as many photos as you need, narrow them down to your heart’s desire and post them with whichever filters you want. Selfies allow us to find photographs we like for memories we want to keep.

Once in a Lifetime

What’s the point in taking any old photo of the Grand Canyon when you can simply Google search and find hundreds of, frankly, far better images than you can get on your iPhone?

What’s far more memorable is a quick selfie at the Grand Canyon of yourself. Take a self-portrait with a background to remember, and you’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind photograph only you will have in your photo album.

It's solid proof you were there and living the selfie dream. Plus, nothing says awesome like a once-in-a-lifetime background to your ‘gram shots.

The Right Way Round

Most people, after getting a camera thrust in their unprepared faces, will immediately say, “Oh, I hate having my photo taken! I’m not very photogenic!” Yet, people love a good selfie.

But, there’s a science to this: Our whole lives, we only see our own faces as a reflection. In mirrors and windows, it’s a back-to-front version of how we look. So, when someone else takes a photograph, it’s the "right" way round, meaning it’s the opposite of how we usually see ourselves.

When taking a selfie, we see an unflipped image, meaning we see the reflection we’re used to -- and that’s why we love it. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat don’t flip the photos you take in the app; whereas, phone cameras turn them to how they should be, hence the immediate influx of deletions.

We’re allowed to hate our own photos, but a good selfie can help overcome the photo dread.

Watch the Changes

You always see those viral videos of people who take photos of themselves every day for so many years. Taking selfies over time shows how you change and grow up. With different hair, different makeup, different styles, it's a fuss-free approach to watching yourself change.

Which, to be honest, is always funny a few years down the line when you look back and realize your favorite orange hair should never have made an Instagram appearance (guilty).

Save the Memories

It goes without saying that selfies create the perfect memories. Not only of where you are and what you’re doing, but also how you were at the time.

Did you have blonde hair still? Were you going through your hat phase? At which point in your life were you when this memory was taking place?

It makes it a lot easier to date a photo when you can see where you are, and can conjure up a whole load of extra memories based on yourself -- whether it's for good or for bad.