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Hand in Hand: are selfies and self-harm related?

Reports show teen self-absorption affects teen confidence

-photos by sydney wigginton, staff photographer

-photos by sydney wigginton, staff photographer

LeopardLife Ailsa Kokoricha, Staff Writer

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“But first, let me take a selfie.” According to a multitude of magazines and articles, selfies raise self-confidence in teens. However, despite a number selfies the average teenager takes, their confidence might actually be dwindling.

 

According to https://www.psychologytoday.com/, discovering and maintaining the perfect balance between cockiness, confidence, and humility is difficult to master for many in the teen years. It could take a long time to find this center-point for courage. For countless human beings, this does not occur during their teenage years.

 

School officials gave attribution for the cause and decline in self-esteem among teens.

“During adolescence, our friends become more important, and we are beginning to figure out where our place in the world is. It is a huge period of transition for us. Maybe this is why our self-confidence declines. We are trying lots of new things, perhaps experiencing failure for the first time, which can always be a blow to our self-confidence,” said guidance counselor Kay Bordelon.

Insecurity is evident within a large majority of people. A way to describe insecurity is doubt in oneself and others around them. A few common causes of insecurity, according to Melanie Greenberg, author, psychologist and receiver of a Ph.D., are recent failure or rejection, social anxiety, and perfectionism.

Students said they strive hard to perfect their skills and schoolwork, which creates stress, they said.

“Some causes of stress in my life are probably school and sports, just trying to keep up with it. Sports I usually just work harder and get better at whatever I need to get better at. I always take care of the problem whenever I can and turn in homework whenever I can,” seventh-grade student Mason Muller said.

Indirectly, low self-esteem can lead to tragic situations. For example, the effects of low self-confidence can cause conditions like anxiety and depression. Both which, left unchecked, can lead one to attempt, or a successful, suicide.
Samantha Gluck, a health journalist, says that each year one in five girls and one in seven boys harm themselves.

 

Also, 90 percent of people who engage in self-harm begin during their teen and pre-teen years, she reports. Every year, about two million people report to having injured themselves with the intent to do so. Upon discovering that someone you care about is partaking in self-mutilation, Gluck recommends remaining calm and getting immediate help from a qualified mental health professional.

Every year, about 2 million people report to having injured themselves with the intent to do so. Upon discovering that someone you care about is partaking in self-mutilation, Gluck recommends remaining calm and getting immediate help from a qualified mental health professional.
Teenage girls with low self-esteem are more susceptible to making decisions that they regret later on in life. An example of negative behaviors brought on by low self-esteem include poor academic performance, dropping out of school, criminal behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, and eating disorders. Self-esteem is a state of mind, one that can be changed.

“Self-esteem is simply how you feel about yourself and how you judge your worth. This evaluation has a profound impact on the choices you make since it determines, to a great extent, what you consider yourself capable and worthy of doing,” LaTour said. “You are much more than the situations in your life and the judgments of those around you. A big part of what defines you is how you react, adapt and respond to such circumstances.”

Carl E. Pickhardt, a psychologist, and author believes that the first drop in self-confidence occurs between the ages of nine and 13, due to the separation from childhood and the want to distance themselves from things they consider “childish.”

 

According to New York Times Associate Editor Suzanne Daley, studies revealed that the majority of nine-year-old girls felt confident and positive about themselves. However, when the girls reached high school fewer than one-third felt that way.

A survey done by the American Association of University Women said that boys also suffer a loss of a feeling of self-worth. A strong 67 percent of elementary boys said that they were self-confident while only 46 percent of high school boys still felt that way. The statistics are even worse with girls, dropping from 60 to 29 percent. The individuals who performed the survey have linked the loss of self-esteem to race.

The number of African-Americans girls who were self-confident is higher than Caucasian and Hispanic girls. Hispanic girls also exhibit more self-confidence than Caucasian teenage girls, the report indicated.

“I think self-confidence is believing in your qualities and what you can accomplish in life,” eighth-grade student Natalie Wong said.

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Hand in Hand: are selfies and self-harm related?