Don’t take my word for it, though; believe the multitude of studies that have shown that selfie-queens/kings actually turn out to be more self-centered and narcissistic than their peers. I mean, did anybody not already expect this to be the case? It’s no mystery that the biggest motivation for constant selfie-posting is to laud approval from the online masses–those likes are oh so addicting and they feed our egos oh so well.
It’s possible that this may not apply to my generation, but I’m afraid that there is a generation coming up that equates their value and beauty with the number of likes their photos receive. This is a tragic misunderstanding of what it means to be made in the image of God. Just the fact that you are human and you exist makes you more beautiful and valuable than Instagram or Facebook will ever be able to convince you of. But sadly, there are too many Christians that don’t believe this. Instead of resting in God’s acceptance of them based on the merits of Christ, they seek validation from the internet. Putting themselves on center-stage before the world in hopes of being considered valuable.
And that’s where the largest danger lies in this issue. In a faith that requires all its adherents to deny themselves, pick up their crosses, and follow Christ, constantly putting ourselves in the spotlight is completely antithetical to our calling. We are to “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than [our]selves” (Philippians 2:3). It’s hard to see how posting a constant barrage of selfies embodies this principle.
That’s the real tragedy of the overselfiefication (I dunno) of social media. With one click we are able to broadcast a message to a 24/7/365 live audience of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people. Why not take these opportunities to speak of something that is so much greater than us? The more preoccupied we are with ourselves, the less preoccupied we are with Christ. The more preoccupied we are with ourselves, the more sorrow we will find. When internet acceptance becomes the means by which we judge our value and worth, then when those likes start to diminish, it’s not too farfetched to think even more extreme measures will be taken to win them back. Maybe a little bit more shoulder here, perhaps a shorter skirt there, and before you know it, you’ve selfified (???) yourself into ruin.
To be clear, I’m not talking about an occasional picture showing off your new haircut, or a quick snapshot of you and your spouse on date night. In fact, showing a smiling face to the world every now and then can serve to be a great testimony to the joy that Christ offers. No, this is about the people whose social media accounts exist almost solely to post flattering pictures of themselves. You know who you are.
Although I think that the selfie needs to take a backseat to more edifying content in everybody’s feeds, I feel that the Christian specifically should think long and hard about reducing the number of selfies they post, if not eliminating the practice altogether.