#WHY SO MANY SELFIES IN THE BATHROOM?

#WHY SO MANY SELFIES IN THE BATHROOM?

Typically, the bathroom offers a private space. This means individuals can lock the bathroom door and feel safe enough, knowing that no one is going to walk in on them, posing in front of the mirror. This is the same reason why there are also so many selfies taken in bedrooms. Further, both typically offer large mirrors and bright lights...

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#IS IT ALL ABOUT NARCISSISM?

#IS IT ALL ABOUT NARCISSISM?

Some of it is, but not all. Sure, there is a strain of exhibitionist, narcissistic and near pornographic selfie culture. But it’s more complicated than that. Much of the fame seeking and brand building online revolves around self-marketing. Many young people have completely figured this out. Selfies straddle most social media platforms. Most Instagram photos are selfies, in fact it is estimated over 90 billion Instagram pictures are selfies... 

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#IS IT MILEY AND/OR JUSTIN AND/OR THE KARDASHIANS?

#IS IT MILEY AND/OR JUSTIN AND/OR THE KARDASHIANS?

The behaviour of Hollywood celebrities on social media no doubt has an influence on teen selfie culture. From Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, to the titillating and talentless Kardashians, the stream of photos is a blend of promotion and provocation. It’s a formula that seeks to attract attention, build a following, and of course maintain a healthy business model. Little wonder then, that youth are following in the footsteps of their celebrity idols...

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#HAVEN'T WE ALWAYS WORSHIPPED FAME & CELEBRITY?

#HAVEN'T WE ALWAYS WORSHIPPED FAME & CELEBRITY?

Not quite like this. It’s true that since the invention of the dream factory known as Hollywood, our culture has placed a HUGE emphasis on fame and celebrity. But until roughly the turn of the millennium, fame and celebrity were considered rarified air, unattainable, reserved for a chosen few. But with the explosion of reality television...

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#SO WE BLAME THE MEDIA?

#SO WE BLAME THE MEDIA?

It would be easy to lay the blame at the feet of the media – but it’s more complicated than that. It’s a fact that some young people want to be famous. It’s also true that media can stoke the fire of celebrity. There is no shortage of media celebrity worship available through traditional outlets and online “star gazing”. But so much of what fills these sites is manufactured “outrageous behavior” and skillfully marketed faux pas...

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#IS MILEY PUSHING THE LINE OR JUST REFLECTING IT?

#IS MILEY PUSHING THE LINE OR JUST REFLECTING IT?

Miley Cyrus is the latest in a long line of female singers willing to sell their music with their nearly nude bodies. Madonna, Britney, and Christina did the same thing. What’s changed over the last decade is what might be best called the pornification of mainstream culture. Porn actresses now regularly cross over into mainstream media, and there’s ample nudity on high profile TV programming (Game of Thrones, House of Cards)...

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#DOES PRIVACY MATTER ANYMORE?

#DOES PRIVACY MATTER ANYMORE?

Privacy absolutely matters. The good news is, many surveys have found that the majority of young people recognize the importance of privacy and make some attempt to maintain their privacy online. The bad news is that while they may understand privacy is a good thing, they don’t think much about the consequences of not guarding personal information. Young teens do not yet have the life skills to understand that bad things can happen online...

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#WHY ARE SOME YOUNG PEOPLE INDISCRIMINATELY POSTING SO MANY INTIMATE IMAGES AND DETAILS OF THEIR LIVES?

#WHY ARE SOME YOUNG PEOPLE INDISCRIMINATELY POSTING SO MANY INTIMATE IMAGES AND DETAILS OF THEIR LIVES?

To begin with teens are chronicling everything.  Parties, vacations, meals, there’s nothing too banal in the always-on world. No detail is too small, no conversation unimportant. It’s all there and all recorded. As a consequence much of what would have previously been considered “living” is now fodder for the torrent of shareable information...

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#EMOTIONAL PAIN: REAL OR MANUFACTURED?

#EMOTIONAL PAIN: REAL OR MANUFACTURED?

Both. There are many selfies (pictures and GIFs) of young people crying, displaying scarred wrists, and holding up cue cards revealing painful secrets. Sometimes these images are an attempt to receive attention from peers or friends, especially since they know these pictures will draw comments. Sometimes these images are a demonstration of true pain, sometimes they are manufactured attention seeking. The bottom line is that...

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#DOES SOCIAL MEDIA MAKE KIDS MEANER?

#DOES SOCIAL MEDIA MAKE KIDS MEANER?

Screens and social media have a way of making people meaner. When we’re not looking someone in the eye it’s often easier to say things we’d never say in “real” life. Empowered by this perceived “anonymity”, bullies hide behind screen names and post cruel comments, with little consideration - or understanding- of consequences.

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