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Why Selfies Do More Harm Than Good

Why Selfies Do More Harm Than Good

Guess one reason why aliens do not want to visit planet Earth. An obvious one is that the whole planet is addicted to posting selfies on the Internet, so aliens would hardly get a look in!

Yesterday morning, a major Italian daily newspaper, which is supposed to be a quality paper, published a selfie of the ex Pope Benedict XVI. It was taken by some visiting priest, no doubt. When I saw this, I knew it was time for me to leave the planet, but before I do, I must write this post on why selfies do more harm than good. At least, I will have achieved something during my earthly life.

Let us get the good out of the way. Good? Well, it shows that you can manage a smartphone or web camera. Then it gets you more likes and comments on your social network account. Finally, it shows everyone what you look like and no, it’s not really narcissism. Just blame it on Narcissus, ok? He started the whole trend a long time ago and he didn’t even have a smartphone.

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    But surely posting selfies is a perfectly innocent and worthwhile activity? Why not post a selfie of yourself, you and your friend, and you and your cat on Instagram? Well, if it is taken to excess, then it really is doing a lot of harm, just like smoking too many cigarettes or becoming an alcoholic or a workaholic. Here are 5 top reasons why it could get out of hand.

    1. Selfies create privacy risks.

    Facebook is using face recognition technology (DeepFace Project) already and some experts argue that this is illegal. It is alarming to think that Facebook processes 350 million photos every day. That is providing invaluable information for commercial and other types of exploitation.

    But law enforcement agencies such as the FBI may have access to all this data for identifying criminals and terrorists. But the new “faceprint” may soon be in use for ATMs and other useful purposes such as unlocking your iPhone and even paying by credit card.

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      The NSA have not been lagging behind either. Astonishingly, they can match satellite photos with any photos taken outside to identify the exact spot where that photo was taken. What about photographs taken indoors? Now, that is scary!

      Basically, the message is that anything you do or download on your computer leaves a digital trail.

      2. Selfies can cause an addiction.

      Trying to get that perfect selfie for your Instagram account? Don’t try too hard because it can get addictive and you may become obsessed. An extreme example is the story of Danny Bowman who ended up trying to commit suicide. The reason for his desperation? He just could not get that perfect selfie after trying for 10 hours a day. The average was about 200 selfies a day. His mother saved his life and he is now doing some rehabilitation. He is gradually learning to live without his iPhone.

      3. Selfies can damage real relationships.

      Did you know that your real friends can end up disliking you when you post too many selfies? It can damage friendships and relationships. This was the startling conclusion reached by researchers at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. They found that it negatively impacts levels of intimacy.

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        4. Posting too many selfies is not a disorder yet.

        Have you heard about the prank which some people played on the American Psychiatric Association? The pranksters posted a bulletin claiming than the new disorder was called “selfitis.” There were three stages in the disease which ranged from borderline (about 3 selfies a day) to chronic “selfitis” where you take photos of yourself all day and then post them at least six times a day. This went viral and people were getting worried. Once the dust settled, the joke was revealed.

        Well, it is not a disorder yet, but watch this space! The story of Danny Bowman is a little scary, quite honestly.

        5. Selfies place too much emphasis on physical appearance.

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could post photos of a person’s honesty, tolerance and kindness on Facebook? Not a snowball’s chance in hell. Yes, there is now even the bottom-selfie which is called the belfie. At the moment, everything is so physical and human values are getting shoved to the bottom (pardon the pun!) of the agenda.

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        sexy selfie

          But this craze may hide a tendency towards narcissm. In extreme cases, an emotional trauma usually involving a separation or abandonment occurs. The person constructs a sort of shield and his emotional age is blocked from when the traumatic event happened. He becomes totally absorbed with himself and is usually socially and emotionally isolated.

          Now, just in case you have any doubts, why not take the narcissist quiz here, instead of taking another selfie?

          Featured photo credit: #selfie/Alexandra Shertzer via flickr.com

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          Robert Locke

          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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          Last Updated on September 25, 2019

          How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

          How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

          As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

          When we were still children, our thoughts seemed to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

          Just imagine then, how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power!

          We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities.

          We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

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          We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb.

          We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits.

          And we’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head…

          But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

          So, how can we tap into the power of positivity?

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          “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

          It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are 4 simple yet powerful ideas on how you can get started.

          1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

          Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

          Just take a look at these 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

          2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

          This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

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          You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty.

          If you seek it, you will find it.

          3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

          This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what really is important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

          Here’re 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life that can inspire you.

          4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

          How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking.

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          Instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

          Learn from this article how to change your mental images: How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

          If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

          And remember:

          You are (or will become) what you think you are.

          This is reasonable enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

          More About Staying Positive

          Featured photo credit: Lauren Richmond via unsplash.com

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