What’s Wrong with Our Selfie(ish) Generation?

{By Lindsay Chilton}



Noun: selfie; plural noun: selfies;

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.


Everyone takes selfies. If you need a new profile picture or you meet a famous celebrity the natural response is to take a picture of yourself and upload it to social media for everyone to see. Everyone in our generation is guilty of taking selfies, including myself, but what does this seemingly harmless fad reflect?

Recently, there was a photo scandal where a few A-list celebrities had their nudes put out onto the internet. The general public was disgusted with the hacker and wondered why no one respected the young stars privacy but no one wondered why these girls had the photos on their phones in the first place.

What’s wrong with young stars having nudes on their phones?

The main problem boils down to what they’re focusing on: themselves. These young women who are taking selfies are focusing on themselves and are crediting themselves with their beauty.

There’s an old Greek hero, Narcissus, whose ultimate downfall is being obsessed with himself and falling in love with his own face. This story is reflected in today’s culture and our obsessiveness with the selfie and our general obsession with ourselves. If we’re focused on ourselves we are not focusing on God. This statement doesn’t mean to shut down every social media app you have, put up a black shroud over all of your mirrors, and sit in a corner practicing abnegation, but it does mean shifting your main focus from you to God. This is hard to do when it is the complete opposite of what society tells and expects us to do.

Thankfully, scripture has given us a model of what a woman whose main focus is God looks like. Proverbs 31 shows us a woman who actively strives after God instead of striving to be the prettiest or going after earthly approval. This woman is not focused on herself and is ultimately more fulfilled and feels no need to take a selfie.

The selfie itself is not bad and can even be fun but what is worrying is that the need to gather “likes” on Instagram or Facebook from other people reflects a heart that is not searching for God as much as they are searching for other’s approval.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

                                                                                               Proverbs 31:30