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Selfies: A story behind the pictures - KOAM TV 7

Selfies: A story behind the pictures

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It's a booming phenomenon. Millions of people are posting self-portraits on social media. Selfies represent a major shift in how some people socialize and communicate.

The days are long gone of letters, postcards, and telephone calls; in their place Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media applications.

The selfie has established itself as a form of self-expression, millions of the smart-phone self-portraits are taken each day.

Leroy wheeler is a 66-year-old, selfie enthusiast.

He posts photos, daily of himself and molly, a 12-year-old Dalmatian who initially served as a companion for his wife, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis before she passed away in 2007.

"I never knew what a selfie was I just started taking pictures of Molly and I." said Wheeler.

Since his wife's death, the duo has walked more than 14,000 miles. Each day they take a selfie, post it, and add a caption.

"Well it makes me feel like I'm giving the people a smile," said Wheeler.

Leroy's story chronicled through his selfies maybe interesting, even heart-warming. However could there be something more to this picture? Psychologist thinks so.

Mindy Miller is a licensed clinical social worker at Applied Psychological Services.

Miller has followed the rise of selfies on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. She has some concerns, with selfie takers gauging their self-worth through a selfie.

"So you put that one to social media, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and you're looking, you're waiting, and if you sit around and look for the likes and that's how you view yourself that may be a problem," said Miller.

Miller warns selfies could also be a dangerous sign of our society's growing narcissism.

"You know true narcissism is it's all about me and the rest of you guys don't matter and I don't know if that's what this demonstrates," said Miller.

For some, the selfie is more than just a picture, it's a way to communicate feelings without words.

"Normally I don't have much to say and I don't know pictures and facial expressions speak louder than words,"said 16-year old Brittany Allen.

Allen has taken thousands of selfies. The teenager recently moved to Southeast Kansas, she uses social media to stay connected with distant friends.

"Instead of sending a sad face along with a text message I can show that I'm actually sad instead of happy, and they actually understand," said Allen.

From the photos, friends not only knows her mood but also her location. Allen'siPhonee rarely leaves her side.

This new trend has psychologist worried about the digital age.

"People are doing selifes at funerals, people are taking selfies breaking the law, and their talking selfies of themselves smoking marijuana the people looking at that might be influenced," said Miller.

Miller will continue to follow the rise of selfies on social media platforms, but has some concerns that selfie takers are gauging their self-worth through a selfie.

"This isn't what it's all about and you can't base your self-worth on a picture or a post," said Miller.

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