Does your teenage son post selfies?

You may have noticed that the most important thing now is to take “selfies”. This is when you take a photo of yourself and share it with others, be it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat or any other form of social media sharing.

Taking and posting selfies is not a bad thing unless it is misused. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Girls usually take more selfies than anyone else. Take a look at Facebook or Instagram and you will see.
  • People who post selfies are looking for others to like the images they post. Very often, people seek validation for what they post. They look for people who comment that they: look good, wore a great outfit, are doing something fun, etc. It is important to note that many young people seek validation from others for their own worth and self-esteem.
  • Teenagers may take pictures during a moment when they feel on top of the world and their confidence at that moment is rising, so they take a bold picture, possibly doing something they wouldn’t normally do. We’ve seen this happen before when someone takes a photo drinking, showing a body part, and even sometimes committing a crime.
  • On the other hand, they may feel really down and take a photo that isn’t something they would normally want to share with others.
  • Everyone is doing it, both adults and children; even celebrities.
  • This can be a great way to share your personality and interests with others.

It is important to remember that any image posted on social media is available; it is public and it is likely that someone will one day find it. As we’ve seen lately from some public figures, sending images, whether by text or post, can backfire on you.

What can you do as a parent?

Talk to your teen about posting photos. Keep an eye on what your teen posts; sometimes our teens don’t make the best decisions in what they post. Potential employers and schools can find out a lot about a person by searching for them on social media or even just googling someone.

Have family rules and guidelines.. Discuss as a family what is appropriate and what is not. Discuss security issues related to posting information and images. This is a great way to open the doors of communication with a general discussion.

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