I decided I would start this post off with a Selfie since that is what we are talking about here.
What do you think? I mean literally? What are your thoughts when you look at the picture of me above?
Does it stir up emotions in you or are you completely neutral? Here are some examples of emotions being stirred up…
- Wow! She thinks she looks good doesn’t she!?
- She’s obviously pretty self-absorbed if she is posting that pic!
- She looks awful why would she put that online?!
If one or any combination of the comments above sounded like the voice in your head, that may be precisely why you are here. You see, I originally posted The Psychology of Selfies in February and I am truly amazed at how many of you find my site on a daily basis after searching this term! My previous post was more food-for-thought, so at this point I think I owe it to you to provide you with some tangible research and ideas about this fascinating subject.
There are many issues at hand when we are talking about selfies, and my research led me to some interesting findings. The first being the direct correlation that many make between the Millennial generation and #me pics (this hashtag is the most used on Instagram!).
Upon embarking on my research I was reminded of the general disgust of the Millennial/Gen Y generation from many older individuals, most specifically Jean Twenge, Ph. D – author of the book Generation ME. One day I will write more about this author/book, but for now I will say that nearly every article I read that identifies Millennials narcissistic is penned by Twenge.
Despite the fact that most of the articles about Selfies are specifically directed at this generation, I can say with great confidence that I know many, MANY individuals who are not Gen Y’ers that post regular Selfies. May I suggest that the (obvious) reason so many Y’ers are posting Selfies is because members of this generation are using apps such as Instagram the MOST. This article from a Huffington Post blogger explains so well that technology is second nature to her. She can “remove a computer virus in no time,” yet she cannot repair a zipper on a pair of jeans.
Looking beyond the generational debate, it seems that there two main motivating factors behind Selfies: narcissism and insecurity. But, I do believe that the narcissism is often an extension of the insecurity or need for approval. Sometimes the photos may stem from an inflated ego, but its roots are the same: the need to be validated.
An article published by Mashable confirms this theory – and brings up the point that the human need to be validated is not a new one, it’s simply taking a new format. In the article Dr. Andra Letamendi states, “Now that we can interact with hundreds — no, thousands — of people simultaneously, we’ve strengthened the impact that others have on our self-value.”
So now we can understand that it’s been common throughout the ages to turn outward instead of inward when building self-worth. It’s normal even! Just part of the human condition. That settles it then. Selfies are good… Right?
There is an additional element to this self-worth equation as well – one that is much more sub-conscious, and that is the dopamine factor. Did you know that our brains have been wired to send feel-good, happy shots of dopamine to our brains when we receive a “Like” or “Retweet” on our favorite social networks? (This is simplified.) Perhaps we post Selfies in search of that hit of dopamine?
Beyond the psychology of Selfies there is something much more important we all need to ask ourselves when it comes to understanding this new phenomenon – what do Selfies trigger within us that is causing negative emotions or thoughts?
I know what you’re thinking, we can’t blame ourselves for everything! But truly, it isn’t blame and there needn’t be any guilt. It is simply stepping back and thinking about what may be at the root of YOUR insecurity. This can be difficult because sometimes it will really seem like it is completely the other person, but if you dig deeper you will find that isn’t the case.
I’m sure not all Selfies effect you the same way. You may notice that some of your friends or family take these pics and it doesn’t bother you a bit. You are completely neutral to it. On the other hand, you may become immediately irritated or uncomfortable when someone else does the same.
If you find yourself feeling this way, that is okay. Just do yourself a favor and try to figure out why. Unfollow or de-friend if you must, but use this experience to get to you know yourself better.
In conclusion after doing much research and reflection I believe a Selfie is simply a self-portrait. WE as individuals put our own filters on each image and make them into something much more significant than they truly are.
Photo via Beliefnet
It’s been quite some time since I’ve shared what I’ve been up to over on Beliefnet, so today I thought I would do a link round-up to all of my posts there since I began writing back in January! I’m very excited about my May contributions and will be sharing those soon as well!
One of the most confusing and conflicting truths that I’ve come across on my spiritual journey is the idea that we are all one while at the same time we are all individual souls that have come here to live a human life and experience humanity in this form.
Let me repeat that….
We are all one.
Our souls are individual in the sense that we’ve come here to learn/teach a specific lesson(s).
Carolyn Myss touches on this in her book, Sacred Contracts, and sure it makes sense, but it’s still confusing to the mind. I guess, that’s the problem – trying to use the mind to grasp something that can truly only be understood by stepping outside of the mind-chatter.
I work hard to do this; to step outside of myself and observe without judgment and labeling, but a learning obsession (even when it’s about spirituality!) is a learning obsession, and that uses the mind.
The mind wasn’t always the enemy it can be today, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about evolution. Modern evolution.
I mentioned to a friend this morning that I believe that our modern technology that has brought so much awareness to the global concerns occurring such as poverty and human rights is a part of our evolution. On a global scale many are growing more compassionate and striving for equality for all (in every sense of the word.) We are beginning to understand the true meaning of oneness and dissolve geographical boundaries.
The man-made environmental issues that plague us are another form of our evolution. As a species we’ve made some grave errors, and they need to be corrected if we are to sustain here on earth. The threats to our oceans and our food supplies are very real and I’ve heard the term “evolve or die” used many times before – harsh but many argue true.
Our health is making us evolve too. As humans we like to look outside of ourselves for the answer, and it’s hard to accept that we are alone responsible for our health. Our food choices, what we put on our skin, and how we nurture our spirits.
I’m really beginning to understand that our physical health is directly linked to our personal growth and the two go hand in hand. Sure one can exist independent of the other, but when the two meet magic can happen.
I’ve experienced it myself and am still going through it with my son. My health and spirit directly effect his health and spirit. He’s making me question, and challenge and ultimately, grow.
But right now I’m convinced that physical health is the new path of spiritual Evolution.
Last week I stumbled on an interview with Marianne Williamson and Marie Forleo and was once again, struck by how well-spoken and thoughtful Williamson is. Of the many spiritual authors out there Williamson is one of the very few who mash up Spirituality and Humanitarianism. Personally I believe the two go hand in hand, so I am always eager to hear her perspective and learn from her.
If this were three years ago, I may not have been as open to her work – she uses the Christian terminology that is rooted in the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles; namely, Miracles, Prayer and God, (not to mention the word Divine is in the title). This would have scared me off at one point, but I urge readers out there who are not used to using/hearing Christian terminology not to dismiss it because it has truly valuable lessons.
If there is one word I could use to describe this book, it would be this one: succinct.
Williamson utilizes every sentence to its maximum potential, and I love her for it. It’s right to the point, but at the same time it makes an impact.
This book is an important one that I wish was mandatory for all. I don’t know one person who doesn’t have some sort of money-related issue. Whether it is judgments of those who have money, fear of not having enough money, or uncertainty about how to make money, this book covers it all in perfectly built layers intertwined by prayer.
Williamson uses lesson from ACIM and real life situations as examples of how we hold ourselves back from abundance and how fear ultimately derails us from this path. As I listened to the audiobook (a short 3.5 hours), I found myself pausing frequently to take in her words. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this experience and it was exactly what I needed. In fact, I purchased a hard copy so I can highlight away and study further.
The Law of Divine Compensation is a gem, and we’d all be doing ourselves a favor if we picked up a copy, regardless of what our money situation or belief system is. And I love it so much I’ve decided to give away a copy.
Giveaway is now closed! Congrats to the winner Chris!
(Disclosure: All my thoughts & opinions, and giveaway provided by TCP)
Many were blindsided by this event, particularly Canadians, many of whom felt deceived by the Joe Fresh brand. Unlike the era of Nike and the Gap being at the forefront of child labour accusations, something still fresh in many of our minds today, Loblaw has nowhere to hide. Within moments, Twitter, Facebook, and texts were flying out spreading the word, and the Joe Fresh Facebook page was booming with responses of shock and dismay from consumers.
Today, the CBC reported that Loblaw will be compensating the families of those who were killed, and the company has met with the Retail Council of Canada to discuss changes. They released a statement saying, “We are committed to finding an approach that ensures safe working conditions, drives lasting change in the industry and [helps prevent] other tragedies.”
From where I am sitting, it seems like Loblaw got the message from its consumers. They know that they are practicing business in a time where any error in judgment large or small can easily come back to hurt them in the long run. I don’t believe for one second that Loblaw as a corporation is concerned about the health and safety of workers in developing nations. Not for one second.
I do however, believe that they understand that we as consumers do care, particularly Gen Y’ers. In fact, corporate social responsibility is near the top of our list when it comes to making purchasing decisions. So really, it doesn’t matter if the shareholders care, it matters that they understand that we care.
This situation with Loblaw is a perfect of example of how powerful our purchase power is collectively, and how a corporation will move toward progress when presented with no other option. With the many obstacles we as a society face in trying to make change, from food laws to changes within the education system, our money is our most powerful asset.
We make the decisions with our money here in North America, and it isn’t enough that companies greenwash, or pinkwash or simply donate to philanthropic causes; these companies need to be truly responsible and held accountable for every aspect of their businesses.
The days leading up to Mother’s Day always seem to serve as a time of reflection for me.
Last year I waxed poetic about how lucky myself and all of the Mother’s in my life are – for being given a fair shot at happy, healthy, and full lives simply because of the country in which we were born. How much we have to be grateful for, and how we need to direct that gratitude into helping other Mother’s throughout the world.
This year is no different.
I’m sitting here on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, pausing an interview with spiritual author Marianne Williamson and business guru Marie Forleo, and thinking Marianne just hit the nail on the head in her talk when she said that women truly have an instinct within us that is a force so great that we could end extreme poverty in the world.
As a witness to the evolution of the “Mommy Wars” over the years, this idea has struck a chord in a way it hasn’t before. Imagine we could redirect all of the judgments we have toward one another and the comparisons we make and put that energy into something greater?
If we could harness all of the energy put out there that is doing no one any good, and instead, band together and focus on one task – ensuring not one more child has to die from starvation – it could be done.
On this note, there are two things I want to share today.
A lovely blogger, Lacy Stroessner of Living on Love has created this gorgeous print and is donating half of the funds to Edna Adan Hospital in Somaliland. You may recognize the name if you read the book, Half the Sky.
Here are some details of the hospital:
“The health of the people of Somaliland is among the worst in Africa, with one of the highest Maternal and Infant Mortality rates in the world. Every year, one baby in eight dies in infancy while nearly 4000 Somali women die in childbirth. This tragedy can be attributed in large part to the long civil war which brought about the death or departure of nearly all of the country’s trained health care professionals.”
Please consider buying a print for a Mother in your life! You can order online here.
Lastly, there are many individuals out there who have signed up to participate in the World Food Program’s Living Below the Line challenge. For five days these bloggers will be literally living on $1.50 for food per day – literally living below the line of poverty. This is an intense challenge for those of us who live on much more than that per day, and admire those who are partaking in it. If you’d like to support the cause please consider donating to The Mission List’s team here.
You can follow along with those participating by searching the hashtag #BelowTheLine.