Gen Y wastes time chasing the selfie high

A recent online survey revealed young women spend about 48 minutes a day primping and taking the perfect selfie.
LUCY NICHOLSON

A recent online survey revealed young women spend about 48 minutes a day primping and taking the perfect selfie.

I knew there was a reason I didn't like taking selfies.

Besides the obvious (blatant self promotion, hating taking photos of oneself, thinking they're silly, etc) it is also apparently super time-consuming. As if the first few reasons weren't enough, I can now officially denounce the selfie as a complete waste of quality time.

The average 16-24 year old, the age group which is the most selfie-obsessed, according to a recent online survey of 2000 women, spends about 48 minutes a day primping and taking the perfect selfie. That's five (and a half) hours a week… gone.

Yes folks, by the time they've changed their outfit numerous times, fixed their hair, touched up make-up, chosen the best position for lighting and snapped a bunch of shots to then pick the best and post on various social media accounts, 48 minutes has passed by.

The point of selfies? It gets people "likes", which nearly a third of respondents say builds their self-esteem - and they will actually delete their shot if it doesn't get enough likes immediately.

Personally, I'm not sure that's such a good confidence builder, because if you're only feeling good when you're getting "likes" on social media, and you base your self-confidence around what others think of you rather than what you think of yourself, it's bound to backfire at some point. What happens to those who don't get any likes?  

Kim Kardashian, the undisputed selfie queen, even has a selfie book coming soon.

Kim Kardashian, the undisputed selfie queen, even has a selfie book coming soon.

"Besides that," says Dr Jeremy Adams, registered psychologist, "self-confidence shouldn't be based on anyone's opinion, including yourself. It should be based on actions - actions that we believe in. For example, doing something worthwhile with family or at work or in self-development, leisure time or friendships, will build your confidence long term rather than the stuff that gives it a temporary boost."

He even likens the feeling we get from a social media hit to gambling.

"The feedback loop when someone gets a 'like' on social media triggers the same part of the brain as when someone wins on the pokies or takes a line of cocaine. Not to the same degree, but the pleasure sensor involved basically gets us to repeat behaviours. It's a potential problem because if you base your confidence around likes on social media, which you're doing because it gives you a temporary buzz, you then end up wasting hours a day taking selfies, to keep getting that feeling. By all means use social media, but be aware of what can happen."

Let's take a minute to figure out what could be done with 5½  hours a week, if gen Y gave up selfies:

1. Exercise. A whole body workout can be done in 48 minutes. Imagine how fit the younger generation would be if they gave up selfies to exercise?

2. Researching their next holiday. Think of the money that could be saved and the great time they would have if they spent 48 minutes a day finding the best deals around the world.

3. Learning how to cook. Because the pizza phase ends, you know.  

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4. Starting a business. Or studying even. If they invested the same amount of time on the net figuring out a business or a vocation that was going to earn them a living, all this social media stuff might actually be worth it.

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 - SMH

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