What’s in a selfie? Empowering teens to rethink social media

Wanna take a selfie?

Teens do. All the time. Anywhere. Anyplace. Like it or not, the selfie is a normal everyday part of a teen’s life. Whether or not opting to share every moment on social media is seen as a detriment or a positive outlook is at constant debate.

But for Danielle Langford of Pink Empowers, she knows she can’t stop girls from taking selfies nor does she want to, she wants them to ask themselves a question, “What does your selfie say about you?”

That is the point of a session she will be conducting from 10 to noon, April 11 at the Fountaindale Public Library, 300 W. Briarcliff.

Pink Empowers, a movement coined by Langford, is dedicated to teaching girls about self-respect and how to navigate today’s world of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts.

“My goal is to empower teens in a way that builds their self-esteem in a way that will have them teaching their daughter’s daughters,” said Langford.

Building self-esteem in a world of posts and snapchats has teens feeling left out of a world seemingly perfect with parties, friends, and great adventure being blasted everywhere.

Langford explains it becomes painfully obvious when you are on the outside looking in thanks to social media posts that outline the party you weren’t invited to, the grand conversation between besties or the spectacular fun everyone else seems to be having.

She said that in conversations with young teen girls, self-esteem seems to be at an all-time low because of some things on social media and is why she is sponsoring her seminar.

Her goal is to empower girls to change the way they view social media.

“You go on social media and it seems everyone is living these fabulous lives—the fact is, no one is flawless,” said Langford.

Statistics show that after a teen goes on social media they end up feeling worse about themselves.

“It’s all about feeling like an outsider or seeing how many “likes” or followers they can get,” said Langford.

It is important to know when to take a break from social media, she said.

“If you are feeling upset looking at something, it’s time to shut it off; take a break, hit the reset button,”

It should become a mindset, she said, for girls to flip the way they think about posts and what they post.

“I try to influence them to stop and think, what do I like about me, and post that. I want them to be able to validate that selfie,” said Langford.

At the seminar she walks the teens through quizzes and open conversations that lead to why they may be feeling less than confident and solutions are discussed with their own peers.

“Number one, the goal of this seminar is to have the girls walking away thinking highly of how they present themselves, paying attention to what their selfie says about their self-image. If you change your mind, you can change your life.”

Langford encourages girls to take the time to make choices about who they follow, rather than posting or liking things in a millisecond.

“Put your best selfie forward,” she said. “It should put you in a place of power, not a place of pressure.”

Register for the event at pinkempowers.eventbrite.com. Admission is $25. Register to be eligible for the grand prize.

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