Positive selfies – why we all need them!

Sep 25, 2015 Categories: Changing_Times, cyber-safety

I saw something at a school I was presenting at the other week. It was so great I had to share it here – Positive Selfies!

They had posters everywhere about Posotive Selfies. Love it. A simple idea really. Instead of sexting or sharing photos of friends not look their best for fun or even cyber-bullying by posting photos of others with nasty comments, just take a photo of you, looking like you. That’s it.

I love this for a couple of reasons, one is body image which I’ll talk more about below. The other is that the school isn’t trying an ‘abstinence’ approach to technology use. Telling teenagers not to take photos and post online isn’t going to work. If we stop it happening at school, it will happen at 3:30 when the bell rings. Embrace the technology I say :0) . Great idea!

Back to the body image stuff – the school seemed to be running ‘Positive Selfies’ as a competition. So you could enter your selfie photo online and the one that looked most like you in real-life would win an iTunes vouchers.

i was only at the school for a day (it’s in a country town), but at recess and lunch I saw lots of phones out and lots of photos being taken. How cool, right?

So here’s my thoughts, when was the last time we modelled this to our kids? I think as women we know the importance of having positive body image particularly around our kids but how is that translating to what we do online? Do we vet all the pics our kids want to post? Do we say “no way you’re posting that, look at my tummy in that one! Delete!!” ??

I know I have. It’s hard not to, right? Especially as we likely have more insight in to how the online world works than they do. And that means we have a sense of who will see that photo…

So from now on I’m going to ask a different question when someone posts a photo of me online. I’m going to ask: Who’s going to see this? Am I ok with the audience?

Letting our kids know that it’s the ‘who-sees-it’ that we are concerned about, rather than whether our chins are showing to their best advantage should mean I can demonstrate that sharing online means thinking more about the ‘audience’ and less about me. Cos I’m ok as I am thanks!

And just cos I don’t love a photo – which is just one moment in time – doesn’t mean the memory that we are sharing or the event or the people we are with are unimportant. Photos are really our memories these days and I want to have lots of great ones once i’m old and grey ;0)

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