Selfie without risk for teens: tips for parents

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Risk-free selfie for teenagers

the psychoanalyst Michel Stora some time ago I commented on the changes that social media have brought to our society: We have gone from an inhibited society full of secrets to an exhibitionist society. Facebook and Instagram overflowing with teen selfie: mouths to heart, skimpy clothes, sexy poses but also dangerous situations. It appears that the teenager today cannot resist the temptation to make a self-timer to capture every moment of your day and share it on social networks. Whether it is a selfie in the bathroom or on a skyscraper, it is clear that the selfie phenomenon cannot be ignored and that it must be investigated starting with the parents: according to an ISPO survey for the AstraZeneca Health Observatory, half of people aged between 16 and 35 suffer from "follower syndrome".





Read also: How to take selfies with children

For some teenagers the Selfie serves to build the self-esteem: the feedback they receive for their selfies defines self-esteem. Being ignored and not receiving likes or hearts can cause self-esteem to collapse and convince the little boy that he is not attractive or even loved. Sometimes this request for like it can become a real obsession, the need to receive positive feedback becomes fundamental and an effort is made to take increasingly convincing selfies to get recognition. What can we parents do to literally educate our teenage children in the use of selfies? Here are the keywords to explore with them.



  1. Reputation: how many times do we see photos of semi-naked girls that dominate in public setting on their profiles? Do they know that these photos can be downloaded and shared without knowing it? Which will end in cyberspace at the mercy of anyone and that their half-naked photos could end up on computers all over the world? It is not a very remote possibility, far from it: the Postal Police is committed every day in schools and in the media to reiterate what are the risks of a overexposure without control, both on chats that mistakenly seem private and on social profiles. But it doesn't seem enough: the news tells us more and more often about stolen photos and personal images that end up shared thousands of times.
  2. Privacy: a selfie allows you to immediately understand where you are, in which city or place;
  3. Dangers: Is it possible that a 16-year-old boy does not understand that taking a selfie while driving a scooter or while walking on the ledge of a building or in other situations that appear absurd to our eyes puts his life at risk?

How to talk to kids

For teens, selfies can be a healthy way of expressing yourself, but the very young need one guide to understand what is appropriate and what is not. Talking to them with an open heart, also taking the opportunity of a news story that struck us, helps them understand how selfies can become risky and create problems, even very serious ones.



Some practical advice:

  • check your children's social profiles: they are minors, you are their parent and you have every right and duty to control what they do. Also pay attention to the amount of selfies shared - does he really spend all his time taking pictures of himself instead of living real life?
  • Talk to your child often about the dangers of selfies. Ask questions on social media and ask them what they think?
  • Remind your children that the image you see on social media is not reality: we are immortalized only in beautiful moments, but the difficulties, problems and boredom that is in everyone's life are never put on display;
  • likes don't define us as people: real life is made up of authentic, physical and engaging relationships, friends do not make fun of, do not involve in risky and dangerous challenges, they do not share embarrassing images for the pure pleasure of making fun of us;
  • ever since your children start using smartphones and social profiles, talk to them about the risks of selfies, how to take them and share them in a healthy and safe way: aearly education the correct use of social media and selfies can avoid serious problems in the future.
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