Are you a selfie taker?
I’m probably the last person to grab my phone and make sure I got that perfect selfie in front of whatever or whoever because it has never been a thing for me to look back at photos of myself and stare at them.
To each their own…right?
I’m not a selfie-hater, in fact, I have recently seen an entirely different side to selfies where I encourage my son to take what I like to call “healthy selfies”.
If you google that, you’ll get a plethora of fitness selfies (LAME)
I have a different idea and I feel compelled to share It with you guys so I’ve picked my favorite reasons and put together the Top 5 Reasons for taking time out of your day to take a selfie with your kids.
TOP 5 REASONS TO TAKE SELFIES WITH YOUR KIDS
It teaches them to laugh at themselves
It allows them to see how the world see’s them
It gives them a chance to explore their imagination + creativity
It provides special 1-on-1 time with you
5. It lets them laugh with you (not at you)
MY VIEW ON SELFIES
I will say, if you’re looking dead straight into the camera with a duck-face…I just can’t.
Skip, unfollow, next, however I can escape “that”.
Now, feeling yourself and wan’t to save it for later? Go for it.
Again…to each their own…
But the reality of social media is that you post something for the sake of someone else’s eyeballs, as much as you don’t want to admit it.
Whether its updating your feed so your family know’s your kids are still alive, sharing photos of your recent vacay in Hawaii or stuffing your feed with selfies to try and attract your next love interest just know that your feed is the hall-of-fame you put on blast for the world to see.
THE SELFIE GENERATION a.k.a. The Self-Centered Generation
I was born in 1988 so I’m a true-millennial. I grew up with every single thing kids these days take for granted and I also was part of the expirament of giving minors a public platform to stay in touch.
And I say “experiment” because no one had a clue what the internet and giving a minor a camera would come to be.
Thus….introducing the selfie.
If you aren’t familiar with the history of technology and communication I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this video I stumbled on. (Bare with me on the quality- but the content is good I primise)
MY FIRST SELFIE
I remember the first selfie I ever took and looking back I not only had no idea what I was doing, but I will never forget what it did to me in my youth.
I’ve never recovered a copy of my first selfie because I also grew up in the era of malicious software hacks and yeah…I switched to Apple and never went back.
But to give you an idea, I was maybe 12 or 13, probably had my hair in pigtails and I actually had made sure I cleaned my room that day, set my camera on top of my desk with the 10-second timer and then ran as fast and careful as I could back onto my twin size day-bed filled with my favorite stuffed animals where I partially hid behind a zebra because I was insecure about my belly and glasses.
That photo was my first profile pic on MySpace…need I say more…
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELFIES
These days, if you google “selfie psychology” you will get a plethora of articles telling you how selfies will destroy your self esteem and change your perspective of your self-worth.
In-fact, a well known online publisher, Bussle, shared a study they found in Buffalo that “examined the relationship between self-worth and social media use, finding that people who base their self-worth on others’ opinions are more likely to post self-portraits.” This study touched on the view that selfies in general go hand-in-hand with narccicm and that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
There are many destructive things in the world that can destroy your self worth and make you feel less than…but I’m probably not the only person to question and think, “how the hell can taking a photo of yourself and then looking at it destroy your life?”
Well guys…unless you are “that” superficial, it can’t do shit to your life.
And if you disagree, then I’m probably talking about you.
I call bullshit on the whole thing.
Now, there are a lot of destructive things in the world that can destroy your self worth and make you feel less than…but I’m probably not the only person to question and think, “how the hell can taking a photo of yourself and then looking at it destroy your life?”
Well guys…unless you are “that” superficial, it can’t do shit to your life.
And if you disagree, then you probably need to see a psychiatrist to understand the point-of-view the rest of us are referring to.
THE REALITY OF SELFIES
The world is bigger than your duck-face selfies and in the bigger picture of life, that image will mean absolutely nothing when your grandkids look back at your photo-albums and see nothing but “outfit of the day” photos with no real substance behind your intent to share that moment on a deeper level.
“wow- granny really loved the duck face.” (you know that’s not how you want to be remembered)
SEEING YOURSELF IN A SELFIE
Give your kids a chance to look back and see who they got their crows feet from, their big nose, or their snort when they laugh so hard.
Let them see where they got their funny from and show them what it means to live life intentionally, even on the bad days.
In the future our grandkids will be looking to google to see what type of family they come from.
Those photo albums and scrapbooks we all grew up with are morphing into digital versions and we can only dream of what that could mean in terms of pulling out the family photo-albums at special times of the year.
Now more than ever it has become important to be intentional with what you post because you are essentially writing your life story and cataloging the day-to-day without even knowing it.
I will say, (and will elaborate in another post) but it will be interesting to see how social media can help in 20 years with dimentia and other forms of disease that provoke memory loss.
I’m pretty optimistic with the idea that reading my blog in 30 years will keep those life lessons at the forefront of my brain so that when my disease does take away the freedoms I hold now, I have the option to see what my life was, and not rely on what people tell me I used to be.
What I’m trying to say is that your social media account was intentionally made by you, so revisit that intention every time you get ready to hit that post button.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR KIDS + TECH
So, why am I randomly posting about taking selfies?…
Well… (awkward transition)
Yesterday my son was playing on my phone in my insta-stories and was laughing hysterically at the way his face looked with the filter he was using.
This not only made me smile, but being the creative-tech mama I always find myself to be…I was intrigued and curious how this could be beneficial for him, because I personally cringe when the camera faces toward me.
The fact he was laughing at himself was like a lightbulb lighting up. I realized whatever he was laughing at, he must have learned from his dad, who happens to be deployed right now.
It’s been 81 days, but who‘s counting?
When you have a partner that is deployed, you feel this need, obligation, burden, weight, whatever you want to call it…you don’t want your children to forget their daddy and most parents will do what it takes to keep those memories alive.
HELPING MY SON RECONNECT
For my son, it’s sitting down with you and taking silly selfies that remind him most of daddy. (Yes he still call’s him daddy and I know my husband loves it!)
Since he was a baby and my husband discovered Snapchat, it was like the yin-and-yang to their special thing the two of them exluisiovely did/do together, because…well…mommy don’t take selfies.
They usually sit in a cozy corner of the couch for maybe 30-minutes making what I call “dumb” videos. And I don’t say that in a disrespectful way, it’s just the word I’m gonna use when something’s out of my comfort zone….example: taking selfies.
WHY I’M ENCOURAGING PERSPECTIVE THROUGH SELFIES
Just to back up a bit so I’m not coming off as insecure or whatever is attached to the 2018 Stigma of the Selfie-Generation, because I’m not affiliated…at all..
I don’t take selfies because I don’t see any value in it for the time it takes. Plain and simple.
The more you read my posts, you’ll notice a theme of perspective. It is a huge part of who I am, why and how I have come to learn to do life the way I do.
Being a military spouse, we move constantly and live in all types of communities we never asked to nor desire to move back to and this is where the seed of perspective was planted for me.
Trust me, being from Southern California, I was a bit in culture shock with every friend I made and job I applied to. But who was I to judge? I adapted constantly and formed my opinion about life and feel confident with my perspective because its well seasoned.
So in uniting the desire to bring my husbands memory home and the need to connect the dots for my son, I’ve explored this activity we’ve come to do almost regularly.
REDEFINING THE HEALTHY SELFIE
Let me re-introduce you to “The Healthy Selfie”.
What I realized is that my husband and my son were bonding. They were creating depths to their relationship I can’t ever recreate for my kids but I can definitely reignite the flame that lights that memory for them.
Laughing together, talking about “why” something was funny, or even teaching your kid how to make jokes are all developmental tools sitting in your phone waiting to be used and these were all things my husband has been doing all along that I didn’t even notice.
It was that simple, the easiest way to open up a door in your child’s mind.
The next time you find a minute with your kids, turn on those filters and document those silly moments.
HEALTHY SELFIE LESSONS
Teach your kids how to laugh with you and not at you.
Show them how to press record, be themselves and watch that footage back with a smile on their face.
Teach them to see character in photos and video instead of noticing how their nose might be different than the rest.
If that is something you or your kids struggle with, don’t fight it, embrace it and implement intention to adjust your perspective.
Example: your family has big noses…first, teach your kids to laugh at themselves and then show them a couple camera tricks so they don’t spend the rest of their lives dodging the lense.
Trust me, there are plenty of angles and ways you can adjust the camera to avoid whatever it is that embarrasses you.
LIVE IN THE SOLUTION
It’s really important that we teach our kids not only to be comfortable with themselves, but to live in the solution at that moment.
If you don’t like the hair on your legs, shave it.If you don’t like the way glasses look on you, get contacts.If you don’t like the way you smell after the gym, take a shower.If you’re sick of your hairstyle, change it.
These are all basic “live in the solution” scenarios you can web out into the rest of your life.
There’s always a solution and someone on the other side with their own perspective so it’s important to always be intentional.
Lets say you’re insecure about your body but you go to the gym once a day, post an insta-story showing how boss you are at 5am but spend your wind-down time before bed scrolling through old photos of yourself 10lbs lighter.
TAG #HEATHLYSELFIE AND @BOXOFKNOTS TO SHARE YOUR SELFIE
First of all, go you for being at the gym at 5am every day. Secondly, you will never be that size again, unless you are sick. And last, someone is probably watching your insta-story and feeling hella motivated to get to the gym the next day.
That is huge! You made an ‘actual’ difference my friend, not just a superficial dent on what someone feels inspired to wear the next day.
Life has so many depths and layers to it, being self-centered is the absolute catalyst to raising the worst generation, and I for one don’t want to be a part of that.
So what’s my conclusion? Well, I’m still getting used to seeing myself on camera because I was introduced to that kinda later in life and taking a Selfie is something I don’t know I will ever do regularly but selfies with my kids is another story.
I’m encouraging you-my friend to take some time each week to sit down with your little humans and give #healthyselfie a new meaning.
Yes, physical fitness is important and your physical health is awesome but what about the health of your brain? How are we teaching our kids self-care when we aren’t really caring what goes into “the self”.
If our kids see our confidence, resilience and intention to live life in persuit of happiness they more than often reflect that back to the world because it becomes not only what they know, but what they believe.
If I point the camera at my son at any given moment in public, 9 times out of 10 he throws up the peace sign without me saying a word. It’s something he decided maybe at age 5 that holding up the peace sign combined with a smile made him feel like “himself”. And I couldn’t agree more.
He is two months shy of turning 7 now and I can totally see how his selfies with his dad have shaped him into the confident yet compassionate kid he is today.
If you haven’t already (shameless plug) make sure to head over to my son’s YouTube channel and subscribe to his future videos we film and (sometimes) edit together. I don’t shove this down his throat, if you’re wondering, but I am readily available to help all his ideas come true and show him how to use the technology that is sitting at his fingertips, quite literally.
His channel is fun and focuses on games he likes to play, adventures we go on and in-home crafts we love to do together. #SYGUYTV is his little corner of the world he’s excited to share with your kids so head over and subscribe!
Thank you guys for reading this super long post! I know it is stuffed with info, full of insight and perspective for you and your babes! Make sure to tag #healthyselfie to join me and other Box of Knots Mamas in not only changing the way our kids see the world, but impacting the way they see themselves.
Their mind matters! Don’t forget to remind them of your love, they need to hear it just like you do!
Audio Used // Song: Ehrling – Adventure Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ehrling