Phillip Wade Wilson

Selfie and the way of the influencer: Commonplace

“much of the negativity that surrounds social media and selfies can be contextualised within broader cultures of youth shaming”

Something that I found lacking in this article was the way in which Cardell and Douglas, perhaps, do not fully understand social media from the aspects of Gen-Z. Specifically, I want to highlight the fact that in my generation we grew up using all of these technologies and being exposed to the world at such a young age that had never been seen before. This came at the extent to which parents had difficulties monitoring their children’s internet behavior and many many parenting guides about online behavior came about but none captured what they should have. I remember as a child seeing things I should not have seen, going to sites that I should not have been going to, and having giggles or conversations with my friends at the age of 10 that I definitely was not ready for. Though, these parenting guides on monitoring online behavior were about children texting using codes or acronyms or sending naked pictures back and forth between each other… from experience growing up this was not the issue.

What the selfie and explosion of social media gave to children were lasting internalized traumas of being lesser than or not good enough based on the posts we were seeing from influential figures. I remember opening up Instagram in high school and seeing models and fashion and wealthy people showing me how I ought to live because this is what I should be striving for. Differences were not accepted and even so, in the creation of one of the newest social media platforms, TikTok, its algorithm for who would become a star was based on eurocentric, petit, and wealthy models. Time and time again has it been accused that algorithms created by Big Tech are made with such inherent bias that many are left out and unable to fully join in and interact with the global online community.

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