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Is A Selfie That Important?

I’m fed up with Facebook.

Absolutely fed up with seeing the same, filtered, pouty-lipped selfies popping up on my timeline day in and day out. Fed up with taking my children to golf practice or swimming lessons and observing parents with their noses down, scrolling through their Facebook feed and missing their child growing up right in front of their eyes. Fed up with pulling up next to a mother at a red light and witnessing her puckering her lips up and fluffing her hair with her phone in her face while her children are screaming in the back seat.

The opinions of others and how many “likes” someone can get on a Facebook photo seems to be more important to some people than their own children. It makes me wonder why people need the affirmation of so many others to believe that they are good parents, good looking, or successful. Does getting 50 or 100 likes on a Facebook selfie make them feel better about themselves for a little while? What happens when they post their next selfie or picture and only a couple of people like it? Does it ruin their day and destroy their self-worth?

Just yesterday I was standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for a sweet, elderly lady to count out her exact change when I heard a child saying, “Mommy” over and over; her voice getting louder each time she repeated it. I couldn’t help but turn around to see what the problem was; and unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised at all by what I saw.

What I saw was a little girl, pulling on her mother’s arm, pleading with her to pay attention to her. And all the while, the mother was completely oblivious to her daughter; her face was buried in her phone and she was laughing out loud as she scrolled down her screen.

Her little girl’s voice finally broke the trance she was in and she put her phone down from her face. I glanced at the screen and shook my head; of course it was on a Facebook timeline. The mother looked down at her daughter and asked her, “What the hell is wrong with you?” her voice dripping with annoyance.

Her daughter had been pleading for her mother’s attention because she had to go to the bathroom and was wiggling and holding herself to avoid soiling her pants. And what did Mom do? Mom groaned, grabbed the little girl’s hand, left her cart and drug her to the bathroom. But she didn’t forget to put her phone back in her face and get back to her Facebook timeline as she led her daughter to the restroom.

Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram – all ways to make people more “social”, but all ways that end up isolating REAL people in our lives. I’m sure it feels good to take a good picture of yourself and have people like it and rave about it on social media; it makes you feel beautiful or handsome. I’m sure it feels good to boast about a friend’s list that has thousands of people; it makes you feel popular and wanted. And when there is drama in your life; I’m sure it feels good to rant about it to all of these thousands of “friends” in order to get support and reassurance; it makes you feel justified or loved.

But while you are focused on what all of your “friends” are saying on an app; you are missing out on what is going on right in front of you. You are missing out on real life and ignoring the here and now. What is that little girl who had to go the bathroom think about the relationship she has with her Mom? For that moment, that little girl was told in no uncertain terms that Facebook and her Mom’s phone were more important than she was. An app was more important than she was.

No amount of likes or comments will ever be as important as your children and your family. Your children and your family see you at your best and at your worst; without filters and pouted out lips. They see you for the awesome person you are, flaws and all, and they love you for it. Your loved ones are who you need to impress; those are the people who are going to lift you up and make you feel beautiful. They don’t need to like photos to show you they care; they show it every time they look at you and tell you they love you.

Is A Selfie That Important?

Sarah Burleton NY Times bestselling author

Victoria Gigante Writes For Psych CentralSarah Burleton was born in a little town in Illinois to a very emotionally disturbed woman. Her first book, her child abuse memoir "Why Me," spent 26 weeks on the New York Times and the print version is endorsed by David Pelzer, author of "A Child Called It." Sarah is now realizing her goal in becoming an ambassador for abused children and adult survivors and is currently conducting workshops and seminars throughout the state. Her message of strength over adversity and her story will help counselors, teachers, and other professionals identify signs of abuse and learn ways to establish trust with an abused child.

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APA Reference
, . (2017). Is A Selfie That Important?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Nov 2017
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