dear daughters (on the subject of selfies)

dear daughters … I know I’m not your mom but I probably could be. I’d like to think I’m Lorelai to your Rory. (Though in honesty, I don’t dress that cute.) But if you’re online, reading this post ~ I’d like to invite you to talk about stuff. Today, let’s dive deep into selfies. The who, what, when, where and why of self-portraits online.

dear daughters … I’m writing because I worry. I know I shouldn’t but a mother does, you know.

I’ve noticed a trend lately. One that had me curious ~ and now has me truly concerned. Yep, the social media phenomenon known as #selfies.

Selfies: a picture you took of yourself … and posted online.

It’s not that I think publishing self portraits is necessarily wrong. In some ways, it’s an exercise in creativity. Picking a camera angle, posing, snapping the shot ~ then rummaging thru endless filter options to get the just right effect. Like this little arty number of me sitting in my robe, no make-up, etc. I took it just this morning ~ only took me a few minutes.

“An – exercise – in – creativity.” Sure.

And you’re looking at this photo wondering: WHY? Why would a 40-something year old woman post an unattractive AM selfie in her robe? For gracious sake.

Well, yes. That’s pretty crazy. But aren’t all online self-portraits kind of weird? I actually brought up the subject yesterday with my two girls (ages 19 and 23). And I asked them: Why are all these girls on instagram posting selfies? What do y’all think about that? And sakes alive ~ who in the world thought up #selfiesunday (that’s s-e-l-f-i-e Sunday ?!!) ~ and why are we all playing along?

My girls didn’t have many answers. I felt frustrated. Then I realized, I’m the ‘older woman’ here. I’ve got some years and hopefully some spiritual maturity on them. So just maybe, it’s up to me to offer guidance. To step up and actually have an opinion on the new cultural norm known as #selfies.

And so now, daughters. I step into uncomfortable territory. That’s right ~ me, the encourager, good news girl, yada yada going all mad-mother-hen over something as silly as selfies.

Selfie Truths: 

  • selfies are about you
  • selfies highlight you
  • selfies require time spent shooting, editing and posting pictures of you
  • selfies are a collective ask for a group of followers to ‘like’ you
  • selfies are a collective ask for a group of followers to approve you

I’m speaking up about selfies because I don’t want you thinking that filling up on even your most beautiful self portrait will come close to satisfying your deepest longing for acceptance, affection and belonging. You can only get that kind of unconditional love from God.

And sweet young mothers, I’m speaking up because I see a generation of beautiful young women unintentionally teaching their daughters to find love and approval from a loosely gathered group of friends ‘followers’ on instagram, twitter, fb, etc.

When I see selfies, I wish I could rip thru my iphone and take you by the shoulders and tell you how much Jesus cares for you. And if you already know that Truth deep down in your gut, really and truly know then … I would gently remind you of this. 

 But now, I’ve probably said enough. Perhaps too much. And I don’t want to be a #selfie legalist.

So please, what are your thoughts on #selfies … ?