#HOW MUCH OF THIS IS EXHIBITIONISM AND HOW MUCH IS PERSONAL ANGUISH?

Some of this selfie-obsessed behavior is exhibitionism, some is a cry for attention and some a desperate cry for help. Many of these selfies can be emotionally challenging and unnerving. It is not uncommon to see pictures or videos in which teens with emotional or mental health issues leave raw and disturbing messages. Many are caught in a snare of loneliness; others are using the very public space of the Internet to broadcast relationship pain.  In the kidsmediacentre interview with Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether, Executive Producers and lead writers on Degrassi, the pair acknowledge the series has yet to really tackle the issue of social media anxiety.

There are many questions still to be answered around Instafame and its intersection with issues like bullying, popularity, peer pressure, self-confidence, self-respect and self-esteem.  It’s one thing for a young, ambitious, person to want to broadcast a particular talent through vehicles like YouTube. It’s quite another for them to be shopping for meaningful relationships through metrics like “follows”, likes and retweets. If an individual’s sense of self must be validated – constantly - by their digital community (who are often strangers) and via superficial mechanisms, then it’s quite clear we’ve let this wonderful thing called the Internet get away from us.