Combating “Selfie Culture”

Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’s 2013 book The App Generation has been referenced in a New York Post piece by columnist Naomi Shaefer Riley about digital narcissism among young people. 

Describing constant self-photography as the new normal for youth, especially teenage girls, Riley laments the negative effects on self-esteem and risk-taking that can result from a continuous need to photograph yourself for online posterity. She describes trips to the gym and supermarket where she is surrounded by teenagers taking selfies, seemingly unaware of how ridiculous this may appear to onlookers.

Citing research interviews with camp directors from Gardner and Davis’s text, Riley describes how interviewees felt that campers today were more overtly self-confident than in the past but unwilling to test that confidence in action, afraid that any failures would be recorded digitally forever.

Riley suggests that parents and other adults resort to old-fashioned but lesson-driven “humiliation,” citing the example of one father who, tired of his daughter’s social media behavior, began taking selfies in the poses and clothing that she did, ironically gaining an online following of his own in the process.

Click here to read the article in full.


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