I read an article recently that detailed how the taking of “selfies” has the potential to cause body dysmorphia.
Our generation, unlike any other generation before us, is living between two planes/levels of existence. We simultaneously live in the physical world and the internet – the world in the clouds. Most of the time, we can balance the two worlds responsibly; however, trying to exist predominantly in the new and emerging internet world has the potential to disturb your existence in the physical world. Such is the case with body dysmorphia caused by taking selfies. People become so obsessed with the impression they’re making in this second plane of existence that they cannot function in the physical world.
I am compelled to ask which plane of existence is more important now? I am sensing a shift in the importance of these planes. So many people spend their time in the physical world wrapped up and worrying about their involvement on the internet.
We are not used to seeing ourselves as often as we do now. A few decades ago we did not spend the entire day sitting in front of a mirror. Today, we are forced to present ourselves on the internet with pictures and selfies and statuses. We have smart phones and digital cameras. We are able to present ourselves to the world in new ways – we are able to view ourselves in different ways. We have become so entangled in the need to portray ourselves to an audience, that we are never truly alone – we are always acting for this internet world. During this performance for the internet, via selfies, we almost completely forget that there are people around us watching us duck face and pout, smile or scowl. When seeing someone’s selfie on facebook or snapchat we don’t necessarily think, “Oh isn’t that bizarre. That person took a picture of herself,” because it is expected in the internet world; it is how we communicate. However, when I watch a person take a selfie, I feel awkward for them. It’s as if we’re granted a backstage pass by seeing them in the physical world engage in social media.