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Archives for December 2015

Selfie Obsession: The Rise of Social Media Narcissism [INFOGRAPHIC]

Remember a time when “selfies” didn’t exist? The newly-coined term has become a popular teen obsession that is time-consuming and may lead to mental health issues. Psychologists have noticed a rise in narcissistic personality traits, insecurity, self-objectification, addiction, damaged friendships, body dysmorphic disorder, and depression that coincide with the increase of selfies. Selfies may seem innocent in moderation, but overindulgence may lead to social media narcissism and other mental health issues.

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Social Media Narcissism Infographic
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What is Narcissism?

The word narcissism comes from a Greek fable about a handsome young man, named Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.

Narcissism is defined as a long-standing preoccupation with one’s self creating an overwhelming need for admiration. Common characteristics of narcissists are:

  • Extreme self-centeredness and a grandiose view of oneself
  • Excessive need for admiration and attention
  • Unreasonable expectations of favoritism
  • Arrogant behaviors or attitudes
  • Fantasies revolving around personal success and attractiveness

Narcissists will also lack empathy for others and have a strong desire to look down on others with scorn or find pleasure in depriving or hurting others. While narcissistic tendencies may seem apparent, narcissists are often difficult to identify.

How Do Selfies Create Narcissistic Behavior?

Selfies can create an increased preoccupation with “self” just like the man in the Greek fable who fell in love with his own reflection. Many studies suggest that social media encourages blatant self-promotion and creates an obsession with physical appearance.

How we see ourselves does not come from who we really are, but rather from how we believe others see us.
– Charles Horton Cooley, American sociologist

The “Looking Glass-Self Theory,” espoused by American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley, relates to this selfie obsession and consists of three segments:

  1. Imagining how we appear to others
  2. Imagining what judgments others make based on our appearance
  3. Imagining how others feel based on the judgments made of us

Taking and posting many selfies triggers self-indulgent and attention seeking behaviors that fall on the spectrum of narcissism and allows teenagers to relish in the attention their pictures receive on social media.

More Connected Means More Selfies

“Now that we can interact with hundreds — no, thousands — of people simultaneously, we’ve strengthened the impact that others have on our self-value.”-Dr. Letamendi

Selfies are easy to take and even easier to share. 55% of “Millennials” have taken a selfie and shared it on social media; almost double that of the next closest generation. Teens that have social media accounts are more likely to share their selfies with their friends and followers.

Technological advances can be credited for the rise of the selfie culture. The first use of the hashtag “selfie” (#selfie) appeared on Flickr in 2004, but the trend exploded when Apple released the iPhone 4 in 2010. The iPhone 4 was the first mainstream phone with a front-facing camera, making selfies extremely easy to do. Products like “the selfie stick” appeared on the market shortly after. By 2013, “selfie” was the word of the year.

Selfies helped image-based social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat become popular.

Why So Many Selfies?

Responses to selfies are immediate, and whether comments are positive, negative, personal, or anonymous—the attention creates a desire for more. Receiving notifications over social media actually releases dopamine, the chemical associated with reward and motivation response, throughout the brain.

Selfies are being snapped and shared at such a high rate because the responses meet a basic human need to be noticed, appreciated, and recognized. As more selfies are shared and more attention is generated, teens develop a need for even more attention and desire more approval from their peers. The chain reaction causes even more selfies for even more attention and can lead to social media narcissism.

Current Trends in Selfie Culture

Where do these selfies end up?

  • 48% of selfies are shared on Facebook
  • 13% of selfies are shared on WhatsApp
  • 9% of selfies are shared on Twitter
  • 8% of selfies are shared on Instagram
  • 5% of selfies are shared on Snapchat

Almost 300 million Instagram photos contain the tag “selfie,” but the most popular selfie trends are:

  • Adventure — 14,949,000+ posts shared to Instagram – meaning = the great outdoors
  • Duckface —  4,027,000+ posts shared to Instagram – meaning = pursed lips to accentuate the cheeks
  • Beach Brag —  2,675,000+ posts shared to Instagram – meaning = at the beach or on vacation
  • #IWokeUpLikeThis — 1,351,000+ posts shared on Instagram – meaning = messy, yet still pretty
  • Car Selfie — 894,000+ posts shared on Instagram – meaning = taking selfies while driving
  • Ussie — 78,000+ posts using this phrase shared on Instagram – meaning = a buddy or group selfie
  • Healthie  — 18,000+ posts shared to Instagram using #Healthie – meaning = at the gym or eating healthy

Disregard for Safety in Quest for Ultimate Selfie

While the trends above seem innocent, dangerous selfie trends are become popular. The United States Forest Service officials in Lake Tahoe have issued numerous warnings about taking selfies with wild bearsDaredevils are also making headlines by climbing to the top of skyscrapers to take their selfies. Risky selfies have consequences and are taking their toll. More people have died from taking selfies than from shark attacks during 2015.

Appearance Is Everything

Selfies are not always an accurate representation of a person.  An estimated 36% of selfies are digitally altered or enhanced. The most retouched areas of selfies are:

  • 33% retouch skin blemishes
  • 16% retouch face shape
  • 15% retouch skin tone
  • 5% retouch lips and mouth area

Editing and manipulating photos is more convenient than ever. Instagram features 22 filters and a variety of photo editing tools; Twitter has 8 filters and Facebook has 6.

The extra effort to tweak selfies often attracts the desired attention as selfies featuring a person’s face are 38% more likely to be liked and 32% more likely to attract comments and photos with filters are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on.

When teens gain attention from their edited selfies, they begin experiencing the “looking glass self-theory” and wonder what their ideal appearance is to others, what judgments others are making, and how others feel about them. As they search for reassurance and attention, they continue self-indulgent behaviors such as posting numerous selfies to social media.

When Simply Sharing Becomes an Unhealthy Selfie Addiction

Many people value physical appearance on social media. This fosters narcissistic behaviors like:

Danny Bowman represents the dangers of selfie addiction. Danny became so obsessed with taking the perfect selfie that he spent 10 hours a day taking 200 photos of himself. He wasn’t happy with any of his selfies, became depressed, and attempted to take his life.

Doctor David Veale noticed a correlation between Body Dysmorphic Disorder and selfies: “Two out of three patients who come to see me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take and post selfies on social media sites.”

Teens taking excessive selfies can alienate their friends by displaying a self-centered mentality. Selfies can also cause teens to focus on an aspect they may feel is flawed.

Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center sheds light on the issue: “Selfies frequently trigger perceptions of self-indulgence or attention-seeking social dependence that raises the damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t specter of either narcissism or very low self-esteem.”

7 Ways to Identify Social Media Narcissism

Social media narcissism may be displayed through many of the following traits:

  1. Constantly Updating Their Profile Picture: A social media narcissist changes their profile picture often. They will stick with photos that maximize the chance of gaining admiration rather than ones that illustrate a close relationship.
  2. Obsessive Checking of Social Media Accounts: Social media narcissists may check their accounts 60-100 times a day. They don’t want to miss any comments or mentions.
  3. Oversharing: Social media narcissists will share purely self-promotional posts such as photos and videos that provide little value to their friends but satisfy their desire for more likes.
  4. Updating Friends and Followers on Every Little Thing: Social media narcissists will share many posts that “self-promote.” They will fill other user’s timelines with self-indulgent boasting and bragging.
  5. Over-Friending: A social media narcissist will have lots of friends and followers. Many of the friends and followers they have never met, spoken to, or don’t know very well. The goal is to have a high number of friends and followers, with little interest in making real friends.
  6. Seek Support: Social media narcissists will find comfort in their own social media feeds when they have a bad day. They will look back at their timelines and take comfort in their self-perceived awesome life.
  7. Easy to Anger: A social media narcissist may display significant anger from comments or general disagreement. They may be prone to making a public spectacle when they’ve been angered by publicly shaming someone they disagree with.

How Parents Can Help Teens’ Narcissistic Trends

While schools may teach teens about cyberbullying and online predators, it’s important for parents to educate their teens on the mental dangers of selfies and social media addiction. If your teen is displaying narcissistic personality traits, the “3 Rs of Selfie Control” can help.

  1. Reduce – Limit the amount of time your teen spends on the internet. Try to spend more time interacting offline and learn to appreciate people for who they are; not the content they share or how they look.
  2. Rethink – Ask your teen what they are using social media for. Remind them that the purpose of social media is socializing; not self-promotion.
  3. Reflect – Ask your teen what content they are sharing. Are they sharing content to serve self-interests or are they sharing content to socialize?

Dr. Michele Borba has four additional tips for parents who feel their teen is exhibiting narcissistic behaviors:

  1. Refocus Praise – Stress your child’s inner qualities such as kindness, cooperation, and selflessness. This helps children become aware of how important the feelings of others are.
  2. Lower the Curtain – Reconsider where you place focus when your teen is performing a group or team activity. If you are focusing your praise solely on your teen, consider emphasizing your teen’s teammates as well.
  3. Nurture Empathy – Point out other people’s feelings by asking “How do you think they feel?” This encourages teens to be more considerate.
  4. Boost Face-To-Face Interaction – Hold family dinners without cell phones. Encourage family time where the family is unplugged. Boosting face to face interaction helps teenagers see beyond themselves.

In moderation, selfies and social media can be positive tools for self-expression. Social media can encourage healthy communication and allow teens to share passions and figure out who they are. Alice Marwick, co-director of Fordham University’s McGannon Center for Communication Research said “Teens use the internet to experiment with things. They try on identities, they posture, and they perform. And many of those things, when parents take them out of context, may seem problematic, but when you actually see what the young person is doing, they’re experimenting with an identity, which is a very typical and healthy part of adolescent development.”

Monitor your teen’s social media use and self-indulgent behavior. If you see something inappropriate or cruel, communicate that that behavior will not be accepted. If you feel they are displaying selfish and narcissistic tendencies, have them follow the three Rs and try out Dr. Borba’s methods to help break their selfish and narcissistic trends and teach them empathy and consideration towards others.

Rawhide Changes Lives of Father and Son

Dale’s trouble began when he was in grade school. He had watched his father habitually drink for years and followed suit at 7 years of age. Soon, Dale and his friends drank every day. By his freshman year of high school, Dale rarely attended class, choosing to pick fights instead. He wound up in the juvenile system and eventually at Rawhide.

Dale Gets an Attitude Adjustment

Dale moved into the Lodge Home when he arrived at Rawhide. Unlike most guys who dread being made to go anywhere against their will, Dale was excited because:

  1. He loved cars (Rawhide accepts car donations)
  2. He thought he could fool everyone at the ranch – much like ALL the guys that come to Rawhide

Dale figured he’d skate through Rawhide and be roaming the streets in no time.

The Lodge, the first boys home where Rawhide changes lives

A few weeks into the program however, he started to change his attitude. He found people really listened to and cared about him.  He had not experienced that with his parents. Suddenly, he wanted more of the family nurturing and less of his plan to skate by.

“I was never judged or ridiculed. For the first time in my life I felt unconditionally loved.”

How Do You Melt a Hardened Heart?

As time went on, Dale felt the walls around his heart start to crumble. The love and acceptance he felt from his houseparents and youth care workers filled a need that went unmet for too long. He became open about his feelings and more willing to talk about God.

One day in the Lodge’s basement, a warm, peaceful feeling suddenly overcame Dale. He said it felt almost like he was floating. That moment was when he accepted Christ into his life.

Eventually, Dale grew close to everyone in The Lodge. He loved having a team of individuals to talk to and help him.

Rawhide’s impact was evident. Dale’s mother wrote that she was very impressed with the change in him and proud of what he had become.

“Behold, I am with you always…”

Shortly after Dale left Rawhide, his mother passed away. In his grief, Dale reverted back to old behaviors—the same behaviors that landed him at Rawhide.

Dale’s old friends wanted to help him feel better with a night on the town. Dale remembers noticing the snowy roads from the car’s back seat. He looked down for a moment and when he looked up; he saw the car heading for a ditch.

The car rolled, and the sound of crunching glass and metal surrounded Dale. When the car came to a halt, he and his friends emerged without a scratch. That’s when Dale knew, even in his lowest moments, God would be with him.

Life’s Ups and Downs

Dale proceeded to help other people in any way he could. Whenever he saw someone in need, he’d stop and talk to them and see what he could do. Dale also:

  1. Volunteered with youth groups
  2. Joined a search and rescue team
  3. Helped out strangers in need

During this time of his life, Dale married and had a son. However, the marriage did not work and Dale faced challenges with his career, housing, and family—yet God continued to show up for Dale. When Dale went through a custody battle with his ex-wife, God blessed Dale with full custody of his son.

Dale’s charitable heart and passion for youth groups impressed the judge and convinced him that Dale would provide the best atmosphere for his son.

History Repeats Itself

With his son under his roof now, Dale saw his son struggling and was concerned he might make the same mistakes. He turned to Rawhide for help again.  He thought “Rawhide changes lives. If Rawhide helped me, they can surely help my son, too.”

Adventure Camp where Rawhide changes lives

Dale signed up his son for Rawhide’s Adventure Camp—an outdoor, week-long adventure-based therapy program during summer months. When Dale returned to pick up his son after camp, he noticed two things:

  1. His son didn’t want to leave
  2. Rawhide had the same positive, loving spirit it had when he was there

“When I showed up 25 years later, the names have changed, the faces have changed, but the people haven’t, and it’s God. It’s all God.”

Adventure Camp was a great experience for Dale’s son. He made new friends and learned what he needed to do to turn his life around. When he returned home, Dale’s son started respecting his step-mother and began making better choices in activities, friends, and behaviors.

Rawhide’s Long-lasting Impact

Much of what Dale learned at Rawhide has stayed with him, especially two things:

  1. Work Hard
  2. Grow Your Faith

The joy of hard work is what kept his life in order after Rawhide. When he was asked to spread salt and sand for 12 hours in the bitter cold, he thought back to his time working in the Rawhide stables and was ready to go.

Dale’s faith has continued to grow through his many ups and downs. Recently, Dale was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, meaning he can no longer do physical labor to support his family. But Dale will be the first to tell you he’s doing great for one reason: “I got God.”

You Can Help Guys Like Dale

If Dale met someone going through what he did as a youth, he would ask them what is going on. If they didn’t want to talk, he wouldn’t push it. He’d just let them know he was there when they were ready.

He’d also like to offer this feedback to Rawhide Staff. “Your words are in there, that seed is planted. By the grace of God, those seeds will grow.” Rawhide changes lives.

Dale’s story is one of many examples of Rawhide’s success with at-risk youth. If you would like to help fund programs that have been giving at-risk youth second chances for over 50 years, consider making a charitable donation.

13 New Car Innovations Worth Noting

Technology moves at a blistering rate. Tech advancements in vehicles make today’s cars seem futuristic until the bells and whistles become the new normal. While flying cars are still only seen in sci-fi movies, new car innovations make it easier to visualize that becoming a reality. Here’s a peek at what you can expect from cars in the near future if not already at your dealership.

1.     Facial Recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology is a distraction-monitoring system that monitors eye movements and tracks when a driver is distracted, tired, or displaying reckless behavior. If you are displaying warning signs, facial recognition technology offers a reminder to keep your eyes on the road or suggests taking a break if you’re too distracted or tired to drive. This may be good for long-distance driving.

2.     Gesture Controls

Touted as the “Next Big Thing” by c|Net, a few car companies are testing gesture controls that would allow drivers to adjust temperatures, open / close the windows and sunroof, change playlists, and more. The gesture system would be powered by a 3-D camera and would react to various motions from the driver’s hand.

3.     OnStar: the Next Generation

OnStar is known for its ability to make calls or unlock your car if your keys are locked inside. But now, OnStar can analyze your driving. OnStar can send your driving data to select insurance companies, potentially creating an insurance discount for your safe driving.

OnStar’s “At Your Service” can also save you money on your favorite goodies. At Your Service searches nearby stores and favorite destinations for coupons or deals and delivers them to your phone. The service can also help book hotel rooms!

4.     Video Cameras

Many late-model vehicles come equipped with rear-view cameras, offering drivers the ability to see hidden objects behind them as they back up. Multiple cameras are also available for enlarging the field of vision with 3 to 5 different angles. Picture how much easier parking would be since color coded screens depict different distances.

5.     Text Alerts when Damaged

Imagine getting a text from your car when it’s dinged in a parking lot? Good information to have, yet what a futuristic concept. Or is it? Hella, a German company, plans to give future vehicles the ability to detect when they’ve been damaged—and with how much force. If it’s tied into a vehicle’s communication system and cameras, the technology will record the incident even when you’re not around, and send you an instant text alert.

6.     Self-Driving Cars

2019-2020 will see the first self-driving cars if all goes well. Apple is rumored to be working on a self-driving car available for 2019. Google believes they will have 10 million driver-less cars available for 2020.

BMW is also working on a self-parking mechanism called “Remote Valet Parking Assistant.” The idea is to drop off the driver and let the vehicle work its way to the nearest parking spot. The driver is then able to summon the vehicle with their smart device when he or she is ready to leave.

7.     Package Deliveries

Volvo thought of a novel idea to add more value for its customers. When a Volvo owner shopped online, they could opt to have items delivered to their car at work without them around! Volvo would send the delivery company a one-time digital key that would guide the delivery employee to the car’s location and allow entry. The delivery person gains access to your car’s interior and trunk to leave the package. Your vehicle would notify you when the package is in the vehicle and the car is locked up. Volvo realizes that this would work in some communities but doubtful in some areas like New York City.

8.     Remote Monitoring

Smartwatches and smart phones are now able to locate a driver’s late-model vehicle, lock the doors, stop the engine, and even honk the horn! All your smart device needs is Bluetooth technology and cellular or internet connection.

9.     Remote Shutdown When Stolen

Remote vehicle shutdown is offered in more vehicles every year and is an effective method for combating grand theft auto. It allows the vehicle’s owner to shut down the car if it has been stolen. This technology prevents dangerous car chases, potentially saving lives.

10.   Accident-Avoidance Technology

Auto-braking technology and collision-mitigation systems use sensors to identify oncoming vehicles, helping prevent accidents before they happen. Volvo is taking accident avoidance to another level. Volvo has a technology that will bring the car to a complete stop to prevent a collision.

11.   Biometric Vehicle Access

If keyless entry has become commonplace now, what can you expect to see in 20 years? The answer—fingerprint entry. Drivers will be able to unlock and start vehicles with nothing more than a fingerprint. Retina scanners are also being considered by car companies, but don’t expect to see them anytime soon. This would put the kibosh on package deliveries inside your car. (See number 7.)

12.   Parental Controls on Vehicles

You’re probably accustomed to parental controls on your TV and computers. Now you can worry less about your teen drivers on the road too. Some vehicles allow parents to program speed limits so that your teen can’t engage in racing of any kind. You can also set maximum decibel levels for the audio system. Other drivers will appreciate that and your teens may also, later in life. The program will even constantly remind teenage drivers to wear seatbelts if they aren’t already.

13.   Airbags That Stop Cars

Mercedes is experimenting with airbags that expand underneath a vehicle. The airbags have a friction coating that helps slow vehicles and doubles stopping power. The airbags also cushion any impact, correct lean during hard braking, and help prevent passengers from sliding under seat belts during collision.

Brett Favre Returns for 2015 Chalk Talk Benefiting Rawhide

Could one day be any more exciting for Wisconsin citizens or Packers fans around the globe? Take the Thanksgiving holiday; add in a traditional turkey meal with Brett Favre, sprinkle in Cherry Starr along with the twin contestants from NBC’s The Voice, a Packers-Bears game, a ceremony to retire Brett Favre’s jersey number, and a special appearance on Lambeau field by Bart Starr. Mix it all together for a day to go down in history. In case you missed the daytime events, we’ll recap them for you.

Event Line-up

10:30 AM  Silent Auction
11:10 AM   Entertainment by Andi & Alex from “The Voice”
11:45 AM   Traditional Thanksgiving Meal
12:10 PM   Rawhide Tribute to Bart & Cherry Starr
12:45 PM   Chalk Talk with Brett Favre & Bill Michaels
1:35 PM     Live Auction and Concluding Remarks
2:00 PM    On to Lambeau Field and a Packer Game!

Fans Showed Up in Droves to See Brett Favre

Nearly 1,500 people clad in either Packers apparel or #4 jerseys packed Green Bay’s KI convention center to spend Thanksgiving with Brett Favre. This was the 3rd annual Chalk Talk fundraiser for Rawhide and the largest by far. In the pictures below, guests are lined up to view items in the silent auction.

Chalk Talk with Brett Favre silent auction line

Opening Act: Twin Contestants from NBC’s The Voice

While people lined up to view silent auction items before the program began, Andi & Alex from NBC’s The Voice entertained our guests with a musical performance. They sang about 5 songs, including the song from their blind audition on The Voice. What many people may not know is that the twins are from Green Bay and are avid Packers fans.

Traditional Thanksgiving Meal

1,500 people shared a traditional meal with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, salad, and a pumpkin torte for dessert.

Chalk Talk room before Brett Favre

Rawhide Tribute to Bart & Cherry Starr

The Starr family resided in the Green Bay area for 31 years, from the 1960s through the 1990s when they moved near family in Alabama. During that time, they gave generously of themselves to the community and to Rawhide Boys Ranch. It was only fitting to pay tribute to them on this special day. Several state and local leaders spoke to the crowd, including Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.

Cherry and Bart Starr, Jr took the podium next and thanked the crowd for their continuing support. She spoke fondly of helping the troubled youth of Rawhide over the years and remarked, “This couldn’t have happened without the generosity of all of you today.” She then promised that Bart Starr Sr would walk on Lambeau Field at half time for Brett Favre’s number retirement ceremony.

Cherry & Bart Starr Receive Key to City

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt presented Cherry with a key to the city for both her and Bart, for their significant contributions to the community over the years.

Brett Gets Standing Ovation

After a video highlight of Brett’s football career, courtesy of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Brett Favre took the stage for Chalk Talk 2015. Over 1,500 fans greeted The Old Gunslinger with a roaring ovation.

Brett shared stories with Bill Michaels that many haven’t heard before including a prank played on legendary coach and analyst, John Madden. Brett had a penchant for releasing stink bombs during meetings and decided to release one on Madden. Brett didn’t realize Madden was allergic to an ingredient in them and Madden started having an allergic reaction. The sight of Madden pulling at his collar during the allergic reaction scared Brett so much he never pranked Madden again.Brett also discussed the favorite part of his career, saying the most fun he ever had was not when he was playing, but when he was on the bus with his team or joking around during TV timeouts. “For me, it was never really about the individual stuff, it was always the group stuff. As much as I’m honored to be here, have my jersey retired, be in the Hall of Fame, I’m probably more proud of the fact that we had some good years together.”

Former Packer Teammates Show Up

Brett’s former teammates were also in attendance. Former Packers at the 2015 Chalk Talk were:

Brett & Deanna Favre Receive Key to the City

As Brett and Bill wrapped up their chalk talk banter, Mayor Schmitt took the stage again for one last surprise. Schmitt presented Brett and Deanna Favre with their own key to the city, explaining that the key represented something special: “You are a friend, no matter where you live. You’re an honor and you’re a brother. You’re a family member of the city of Green Bay.”

Favre Support of Rawhide

The 2015 Chalk Talk isn’t the only support Brett has provided for Rawhide. Over the last couple years, Brett has:

Brett has been providing support for Rawhide since he and his wife, Deanna, founded Favre 4 Hope in 1995.

Join Brett’s Support of Rawhide

You can join Brett & Deanna Favre in helping Rawhide give at-risk and troubled youth a second chance. Rawhide has been a trusted charity for over 50 years and is committed to helping youth change their lives. If you are looking for a way to make a difference and give a second chance to those who need it, please consider donating to Rawhide.