The importance of loving oneself has been underscored by psychologists globally for decades.


From a young age, our preschool children are exposed to the peek-a-boo game with a mirror. This is to amplify the importance of loving one’s image, and gaining confidence with one’s own skin from a very young age. If we do not love ourselves fully, then how might we expect others to love us in the same way? Those fundamental principles are lifelong foundations on which to build on.

Enter the selfie! When we begin to overly study our self-image and produce hundreds of selfies for our friendship groups, partner, or just for ourselves, we potentially risk losing something sacred – who we really are deep down.

The truth is we are collectively taking over 1 million selfies each day. In 2015 Google reported we took 24 billion selfies. And the millennial will take an average of 25,700 selfies in their lifetime- that’s at least one image every day of one’s life.

These selfies are usually manipulated using a myriad of editing filters seeking the perfect shot. But manipulated images are really distortions of reality and unrealistic images of the self. Younger people are tempted into manipulating images to get the highest number of likes possible. Filters are to real people, what airbrushing is to models. Everyone can now ‘look their best’ with the swish of a finger.

Meanwhile the shelf-life of social media posts keeps getting shorter, which means to get the same reaction, we need to increase the number of messages we are sending out. But the reality is we cannot always be connected, updating our statuses and posting because that comes at the expense of living. How many people do you see at music concerts for example, filming the performance on their phones rather than just enjoying the show? Our spirit is becoming captive to technology.

Social media and online addiction is a real world problem that needs addressing. Digital detox’s are gaining more and more popularity but what happens when you get your phone back? Unhealthy habits are likely to return. We need something more long-term to remind us to put the phone down and experience what is going on in the world around us.

A new App developed by Bugbean could be just the ticket! Named AntiSocial, this nifty little Android App tracks how many times we unlock our phones to check for notifications, what apps are our go-tos, how long we spend on every App and even shows you how your usage compared to others.

From this insight, you can then set time limits on those addictive Apps like Facebook and Instagram on your own terms, and appreciate the real you a bit more.

If you’re constantly using your phone to the point that people notice, for example, having it at the dinner table or boardroom then it could be time to check just how often you use your phone and start to cut back.

You never know, you may fall in love with the real you, with those perfect imperfections that you see in the mirror every day, rather than that fabricated Snapchat filtered version of you!

AntiSocial can be downloaded from Google Play. It is currently unavailable on Apple’s iPhone.

   

Katina Michael

Katina Michael

Professor Katina Michael is Associate Dean at the University of Wollongong. She has studied the social implications of technology for over 20 years, including online addiction. AntiSocial can be downloaded from Google Play. It is currently unavailable on Apple’s iPhone.
Katina Michael

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