The Selfie Generation

Jun 13, 2014 by

Last year Time Magazine called my generation the “Me Me Me” generation. Others have referred to us as the “Selfie” generation, named after the popular self-taken self-photograph. As horrible as both names may seem, they aren’t too far from the truth. Scroll through the average teenager’s social media accounts and it’s easy to see why people believe my generation is a narcissistic bunch. Smartphones enable us to check social media accounts whenever we want and make selfie-taking almost a necessity. But in this harsh world, the selfie, despite seeming narcissistic, may be exactly what this generation needs. Teenagers are bombarded by images of how they should look and what they should be like now more than ever. It is a self-expression of a person when they feel at their best, and who is anyone to say that a person does not have a right to express their happiness?

The real issue with my generation is the stigma surrounding us. Generations before us have been slammed by their parents for things like their music and clothing style, and ours is no different. Now, however, social media can be added to the list of items different generations will never agree upon. I used to be an opponent of the selfie. I believed it was pure narcissism, a way to feed the already inflated ego of a teenager to see how many likes and comments one could get simply because of their face. It was the symbol of indulgent teenagers and the epitome of all things wrong with my generation. However, I now see the importance of it, along with social media. The desire to record one’s life isn’t narcissism. It’s human nature. A teenager’s social media account is the modern day journal and despite the protests, older generations will need to come to accept it. True, teenagers may seem to abuse a Twitter or Tumblr account at times, but rather than disregard those thoughts they should be embraced.

I have seen, firsthand, the pros and cons of the role of social media in my generation. Hopefully, one day, my generation will be able to erase the stigma of being purely the narcissistic “selfie” generation and become the “self-expression” generation.

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