Could "selfies" lead to self esteem issues?

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A quick snap of a camera has become a cultural phenomenon.  From twitter to Instagram, "selfies" have taken over social media as a way to give the world a quick peek into your life.  A selfie is defined as a self-portrait, usually taken with a phone or web camera and posted online.  With each posting, followers can weigh in.

"That's the whole point," said student and selfie poster Sarah Corie.  "It makes me feel good. It's someone approving of your picture, so it's a great confidence boost."

Hate them or love them, focusing on those "likes" and "favorites" can lead down a dangerous path. According to an article in the International Business Times, scientists in the UK say selfies can contribute to narcissism and body image issues.

Local family and marriage therapist Dr. Roger Butner agrees.

"Body dysmorphic disorder is one of the most significant things that can happen, but just general anxiety, a lower self-worth," said Butner of problems that can arise from excessive social media use.

According to Butner, it's not simply the act of taking selfies that is unhealthy or that leads to self esteem issues. Instead, it's measuring your worth on looks and the approval of others alone that can lead to problems.

"It's this age old putting my self-worth in other people's hands," said Butner.  "The difference now is that we're volunteering it much more readily."

Butner says it's important to put your relationships with the people around you above those you have online, and to value all of your unique qualities and traits instead of just those that are captured in one photo.

Butner suggests that if you feel your child is too consumed with social media to set a media-free time each night where you can focus on your family's relationships.

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