Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What Do You Think?

I am introducing a new series to get some 'back and forth' conversations going with my readers. I would like to know what you think. Whenever I am pondering something, I will come on here and ask:

 "What Do YOU Think?"

At the Miss USA pageant this past week, Miss Iowa, Carlyn Bradarich, was asked whether she thought that social media was spurring narcissism. Her answer was "yes"! I think that was a surprise to most people. But I don't think it is just social media. I think the kids of today are just too used to being photographed. They have been the center of attention since the day they were born. I know of parents who take "pictures of the day", "pictures of the week," and "pictures of the month" of their newborns. And for a long time parents have been photographing their kids every year, on their birthdays. I know of a family, who is very near and dear to my heart, whose kids immediately drop into pose mode the moment mom brings out the camera. They have their special smile, a special way to hold their hands and know how to hold their head. Is this narcissism?


There are so many smartphones, digital cameras, and tablets with cameras that kids can be photographed so quickly and easily and posted to all the social media sites, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, with just the click of a button. Did you know that Instagram is filled with such things as daily photo suggestions like: #MCM (Man-Candy Monday..your favorite guys), #Transformation Tuesday (side by side pictures of kids doing the same thing as a child and now as a teen), #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday..your best girlfriends) #TBT (Throwback meaning a picture from childhood)#Flashback Friday (like #TBT) #Selfie Sunday (where you take a selfie). Some of the girls take a selfie everyday of the week. Since becoming the quardian/grandmother to a teenage granddaughter I have never seen so many self-absorbed photos being taken. 

Some experts are saying that by over-focusing the camera on kids makes them feel overly important. Other experts say that it is making kids become too self-critical. Tell me what you think?

Do you take pictures every single day? Do you have lots of pictures of your family? Do you think we over-share on social media sites?

14 comments:

  1. Good topic to discuss, Paula. When the kids were younger, I certainly did not take pictures every day, but at parties, holidays, that type of thing. Didn't even get pictures of their first days of school each year like some people do. Now the only pictures I seem to take are of the dog or something that might be interesting to blog about, LOL. I do think there is a bit of wisdom here in that the kids do get so used to seeing themselves here, there, everywhere. We had the old fashioned pictures, take them, bring the rolls of film in to get developed, and then have the fun time of looking through them and seeing what pictures were good, which ones weren't so good. Now in a matter of seconds, they can take the picture, have it "develop", post it some place or delete it if they don't like it. Yep, I can see narcissim here.

    betty

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    1. That is pretty much how I am as well, Betty. We have boxes and boxes of pictures that were taken when my kids were younger. And lots of scenery pictures because that is what Richard loved. Someday I must scan them all to my computer and get rid of pictures that aren't any good. We only have one picture of my youngest brother under the age of 6....how sad!

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  2. How often I've kicked myself for not taking more photos ... both growing up and witnessing my son become a man. Funny, but as the photographer, I was the one feeling self-conscious..... like a stalker or something. In a way, I'm glad today's youth are less self-conscious and don't go adopting stiff postures and fake smiles like we did in the '50's.

    Now, that said ... I hope and pray those who are 'selfie-crazy' exercise lots of caution what and where they share these images! Old fashioned, perhaps ... but I think it takes lots of courage to parent a teen these days!

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    1. I took a lot of pictures of my boys when they were growing up. Just not daily. Or weekly for that matter. Sometimes it was just as an after thought when something was going on ...like a holiday or vacation. It takes a lot of courage and PATIENCE to parent a teenager these days!

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  3. Hi Paula - not having kids that aspect by-passed me .. I used to take lots of photos, then it waned and then like Mevely I got self-conscious .. stupid! Now I forget to take my phone or camera with me .. because I don't carry my phone around with me all the time .. I can miss things ...

    I'm not sure if it's narcissism or just plain a sign of our times and unnecessary - who has the time to look at all these photos, let alone spend time on social media ... some yes .. but so much wasted time I'd say ...

    It's a great invention .. but is going over the top .. and I love the technology, but enough is enough .. hope you get the painting done in some dry spells .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I think much of it is because of people who have kids and have made them the center of their universe! These are the kids that are so self absorbed in taking pictures of themselves all the time.

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  4. It is the "selfies" that drive me crazy. The number of them that my daughter takes is insane! It kind of like being able to look in a mirror all the time. I think most people, some more than others of course, are drawn to looking at themselves when they pass a mirror. With everyone's phone readily available at every moment it just gets crazy. I never really thought about it, but yes it is narcissistic. Also, what is with the posing that these girls (and some grown women!) feel they must do in every photo, with the hand on the hip?! Good post Paula, very thought provoking!

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    1. Not just the hand on the hip, but the duck lips or their tongues sticking out. Harley has one church friend that has her tongue out in every picture she has on Facebook.....

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  5. Well I do take a lot of pictures but most of them are of food or my Mom. I don't know if kids today are any different than in the past it is just that the opportunity to share is much vaster. While Ting does not share tons of selfies I always tease her because she CANNOT pass a mirror without stopping to admire herself. I always warn her that she better be good and get to Heaven because her Hell would be a place with no mirrors. LOL......Great idea here Paula!!!!

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    1. I take a lot of pictures too Wendy.....but not nearly like my granddaughter does. And I try to avoid being in pictures let alone taking ones of myself....lol

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  6. Broadly speaking I have a love hate relationship with all types of Social Media ... narcissistic problems are only one element of what I find troubling with this cultural phenomena. More problematic to me is how much time is spent interacting with the computer, iPad, iPhone, etc. you name it (and yes, blogging - which I feel is a form of diary and social media). Time-suck is like a drug addiction that is fed by social media in all its variations.

    That said, I love blogging and I enjoy looking at Facebook, and I use my Ravelry account ... but I draw the line on other things because it becomes too time consuming.

    And narcissism? Most definitely yes.

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    1. I agree with you about the time suck. My blog alone is a big time suck for me. What did we all do before we spent so much time on our computers???

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  7. I wonder what will happen if in 20 years Facebook is no longer around. What will happen to the records of the histories of those lives that have been minutely documented? There will certainly be no box of photos to dig through and reminisce about.
    I don’t leave home without a camera. I see many interesting things just in ordinary day to day life that I like to capture.
    I admit to experimenting with the selfie. But let me tell you, I got over that real quick when I had found out that I had no good side :)

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    1. That is an interesting thought lyndagrace. I wonder what will become of all of these records if the social media sites are no longer a big deal!

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!