Do today’s teens really love themselves?

This article goes over the ever-fertile ground that is Kim Kardashian’s preference for sharing her every – ever so deep – thought accompanied by the ubiquitous selfie via social media.

 

You all know what a selfie is by now. And it’s likely that you all know that selfies are the domain of the fickle; the vain; the narcissistic; those that love themselves.

 

We read often about how our teens (and tweens) are completely self obsessed with selfies and it’s all the fault of social media.

 

Hard to argue? I mean we see it for ourselves don’t we?

 

Well, it may (or may not) surprise you to find that I’m not completely convinced that our kids are actually all that narcissistic, at least not in the fullest sense of the word.

 

The definition of narcissism is:

 

noun: excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.

 

I’d argue a great many of kids who share their pictures are seeking the approval of others. Perhaps they do have an excessive interest in their appearance, but they only admire it once it has received the requisite number of ‘likes.’

 

If kids are excessively interested in their appearance it’s because their media saturated world bombards them daily regarding the importance of looking their best. Blemished skin? A few extra pounds? Need to enhance your shape?

 

If it’s not advertisers, then it’s their idols (often one in the same) cavorting around the screen with little in the way of clothing and even less in the way of substance.

 

To that end, to say that kids are narcissistic – or that they love themselves – seems to miss the point.

 

They only begin to love themselves when enough people tell them it is ok to do so – and for many that number never comes.

 

Author: Dan Haesler is a teacher, consultant and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. His website is: http://danhaesler.com/ and he tweets at @danhaesler