Why Selfies Don't Make Us Happy

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Why Selfies Don't Make Us Happy

When it comes to selfies, public opinion is starkly divided. The pro-selfie camp heralds them as a way for people to feel good about themselves and exude confidence. But then there are those that absolutely loathe selfie culture – squarely classifying this behavior as obnoxious and self-absorbed. But selfie mania seems to be winning – and given that we live in an era where being obnoxious and self-absorbed is celebrated – is it really that surprising? The ubiquity of the Kardashians is a clear illustration of what popular culture has become, and what Americans are choosing to embrace. Kim Kardashian recently went on a book tour to promote Selfish – a collection of her own selfies, lauded by some (her own PR people?) as “art”. In fact, she frequently hashtags her self-portraits on social media with #SELFISH….as if that’s a good thing. 

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Selfish, Elsish and Weird This Week: Remembering the 7/7 Bombings in London & Exciting Your Partner in 4 Words

Each week, we look at social media trends and take note of the good, the bad and just plain weird:

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Elsish:

#sevenseven - 7/7 bombing 10 year anniversary.

Using social media to remember, share, and heal from tragedy is a great use of our time and technology. We can see and hear stories and get support from people around the world who are experiencing the same thing.

Psychology suggests that experiencing tragedy alone* or feeling alone during a tragedy leads to more negative (PTSD in particular) and lasting effects than when it is experienced together.

Social media has allowed us to come together in this way like never before! So perhaps in its own way, social media is alleviating some mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and PTSD by allowing us to not feel alone in our grief process.

A huge win for social media, mental health, and people coming together to help others heal.

Study on Vietnam Veterans showing support for less PTSD when social support was abundant. "Results found that veterans who received high social support reported fewer symptoms." http://bmo.sagepub.com/content/12/1/100.short

Selfish:

#cancelyourengagementzayn
Using SM to pries into someone's personal life and make a judgement about it.

Trending (a lot) is this hashtag that is being used by hundreds of thousands of people to tell Zayn Malik (former member of One Direction) to call off his engagement to fiance' Perrie Edwards. The couple got engaged in 2013 and have had some troubles since then.

We all know that celebrity comes with a certain extra amount of judging since you are in the public eye, but we can still show more compassion and respect for each other as human beings. It can't be easy to be famous and have relationship issues.

Don't we have better things to talk about? Do we really care who the ex-1D member is engaged to? Do we really need to use social media to state a *negative* opinion about someone's personal life in this way?

With so much going on in the world it amazes me that we are still obsessed with celebrity. Social media goes out of it's way to support that trend. Just by being so visual in the first place it promotes idealized self images; perfect faces, perfect bodies etc... This is a perfect example of a place where we can being to talk about something ELSE.

Weird:

#ExciteYourPartnerIn4Words - trending now!

 

grab your knee pads
mind if I flex
it's almost football season
I'll wash the dishes
We're going on vacation

No matter which way you slice it this hashtag is sharing the love.

It is actually causing hundreds of thousands of people world wide to contemplate what they could tell someone to get them excited or make them feel happy. Lifting your energy from the mundane and shifting your mind positively in this way can have many benefits! Funny/Happy stuff = feel good hormones just like getting that hit of dopamine when someone likes a post or picture, but it's much more real and has to do with using your mind to excite someone, or make them happy, not just your physical appearance.

A win for the weird on social media today!

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Elsish, Selfish & Weird this week: #Humanity Wins, Gaga Loses

Each week, we look at social media trends and take note of the good, the bad and just plain weird:

 

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ELSISH:

#Humanity is trending! When we went to research this week's article we saw the word "humanity" was trending.

What's trending is a reflection of what people care about, and we've noticed these topics are sometimes bred out of bad circumstances - such as a shooting or a natural disaster. And while these aren't exactly happy topics, they often collate a great amount of goodwill.

This week, most of the tweets tagged with #humanity were in response to the police and African American brutality that is coming to the forefront of our collective consciousness. And while the news of the incident itself sucked our breath away, seeing so many people outraged and demanding change gave us a breath of hope.

SELFISH:

The Gaga media stunt goes viral.

Lady Gaga put on some weird makeup and did her hair in braided pigtails last Wednesday. That's it.  And it became a  full-on internet  sensation.

The fact that this is all a public figure has to do to rise to the top of the social media charts is perhaps a disappointing depiction of what's important to us. Seriously, just a new get-up? This is hardly new for Lady Gaga, and given her spectrum of weirdness, it isn't even that up there. Yet this trends over everything else going on in the world? At times it feels like we live in a constant parade of the inane and superfluous. The media eats it up, and fans get to point, gasp - and more dangerously, they pair this attention-seeking behavior with the success of their role models. Is it any wonder 8-year-olds are posting duck-faced selfies?

This isn't in any way a criticism of Lady Gaga's or even her stunt. On the contrary, we admire the genius marketing behind her image and success - however, many of her fans don't realize that such antics just that - part of a marketing plan. For Gaga, it translates to real income and career opportunities. But what about the rest of us, the passive consumers? Gaga's brilliant PR team knows what gets our attention - and the fact that it's as simple as a new look perpetuates the intense "look-at-me culture" on social media that already kind of scares us.

We live for the day when people are more concerned with what someone brings to the world than the superficiality of how they look on the outside. And we hope the Else app will play a part in creating it.

WEIRD:

#WorstChildhoodRumors

If you're looking for a good laugh check out this trending hashtag.

From chewing gum smearing your insides forever if swallowed, to your face staying in a funny position if you happen to get slapped while making it - this hashtag wins the "weird" award for us this week. Added bonus: you can finally laugh off the cruel moments that stopped your breath for a second when you were a kid.

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