Tag Archives: theantiselfie

Selfie addiction drives teen-ager close to suicide: “It can happen to anyone.”~Danny Bowman

Think that selfie addiction is harmless? Think again.

Nineteen-year-old Danny Bowman took about 200 selfies of himself a day to capture the perfect shot. Thinking he was failing to look good enough to post online, he almost killed himself.

Bowman, a 19-year-old Englishman had been diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, reported the Mirror News.

“Danny’s case is particularly extreme,” said psychiatrist Dr. David Veale, whose clinic helped treat the teenager.

“But this is a serious problem. It’s not a vanity issue. It’s a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate.”

Just like crack, alcohol, porn, sex, food, selfie-taking combined with social media can make for a mind-distorting state.

In Bowman’s case, selfie-taking and social media-posting became the outlet for his obsessive compulsive behavior.

“With modern technology, it can actually be quite severe,” Bowman says in the video. “This kind of thing can happen to anyone.”

Have you ever caught yourself in the grip of any behavior that makes you feel addicted to something: pot, alcohol, porn, sex, food, selfies? How does it feel? Do you feel the almost uncontrollable desire?

Try riding out that feeling of being “driven” to satisfy the craving. Instead of acting to trigger the addiction (i.e. taking a selfie, walking to the fridge, going online, the liquor store, the pot dealer, buying cigarettes), just sit still and breathe for about five minutes, and focus on breath. This method can allow compulsion to subside.

Mindfulness meditation is just one of many tools to get over an addiction. Consult a professional.

More coverage on Bowman:

More on addictive behavior:
“To know yourself is to forget yourself, and he didn’t mean take another selfie.”

7 ways to know if your Facebook friend is a real friend

images These days, everyone’s a “friend.” Meet me on tinder, okcupid, grindr, craigslist then add me on facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, and we’re friends? Yeah! Never met them except online? Friends. Talked on Facetime? Friends. Hooking up? Friends. Just for sex? Friends. Following them on Twitter? Friends.

Marketing and a culture of ambivalence have twisted the word “friend” beyond recognition. No wonder most of these pseudo- quasi- “friendships” can leave you empty, sad and feeling even more alone than ever.

If you’re hard-pressed to define what a friend really is, here’s a handy guide straight from the Buddha. Italicized texts are from Buddha, followed by commentary that’s strictly the antiselfie’s only.

A friend endowed with seven qualities is worth associating with. Which seven?

1. He gives what is hard to give. One of the toughest things to give people these days is time. Does the other person carve out time for you just so you can be in each other’s company (not just for sex, or to vent their latest problem)? Do they actually make plans with you, or just seem to conveniently call and ask you to come over late at night, when the mood strikes (hint: booty call) or only when they need your help?

2.She does what is hard to do. So you hang out and have fun and get drinks. Great. Anyone can do that. How about for the time you need to be told (kindly) that you’re making a mess of your life, while he helps clean up the mess?

3. He endures what is hard to endure. You’re talking about the same issue over and over again. Yup, your real friend is still listening.

4. She reveals her secrets to you.  And the secret is really scary dark.

5. He keeps your secrets. Or is telling this person a secret kind of like posting a video on youtube and it went viral?

6. When misfortunes strike, she doesn’t abandon you. Is your friend still there when you’re broke/jobless? And out to help you in some way?

7. When you’re down & out, he doesn’t look down on you. Does your friend make fun of you, talk about you behind your back, or hold you up as a pitiful thing (sort of to make herself look better)? Or does she help you keep your dignity intact in tough times?

A friend endowed with these seven qualities is worth associating with.

Notice this sentence. It means some people are NOT worth associating with.

Another gem from Buddha:

If a traveler does not meet with one who is better or equal, let one firmly travel alone; there is no companionship with a fool.

The antiselfie’s take: No friend is better than a bad friend. Plus, you deserve better, or at least, equal.

The Buddha isn’t telling you to turn the unworthy into your enemies.

He’s just telling you to wisely keep yourself protected from the not-so-great friends, know that they’re not the best company, and to keep them on a need-to-know basis. Be selective!

Sadly, fake friends are really not good for you, either because they are bad for your mental and emotional health, or they drag you down, or both.

Can you tell which of your friends are the real thing? Have you ever needed to dissociate from certain friends because they were toxic? Try surrounding yourself with good, authentic people. Compare and contrast the feelings you have around true friends and not-so-true friends. With whom are you at ease?

– See more at: http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/01/07/7-qualities-look-friend-according-buddha/#sthash.UJwnq2Ka.dpuf

“To know yourself is to forget yourself.” ~ Dogen (And he didn’t mean take another selfie)


You know them. They’re the ones who love taking pictures of themselves, and posting them online–relentlessly. And we know they’re counting those likes and really lapping up those comments.

It’s those likes, hearts and comments that most selfie addicts live for. Who in this world doesn’t need external validation? However, the question really is: how much reliance on external validation is too much?

Incessant selfie posting is just as delusional as, say, too much drinking. It’s getting drunk on attention and praise.

What’s wrong with that?

In the same way that intoxication is often a way to escape confronting issues, posting those selfies way too often could be a means of avoiding something.

But you’ll never get to know what exactly those issues are if you keep running to and hiding in the world of alcohol, drugs, hookups, and yes, excessive selfies, to make you feel good.

Is there something in your real life that’s not quite impressive or accomplished as you wish it could be? Are you not getting sufficient praise and admiration in areas that are not related to your looks? Or are you actually getting praised only for your looks? What’s really causing you pain?

Selfie addiction is not a way of knowing yourself. Ironically, it’s a way of hiding from yourself.

Whatever the reason, before you snap that next selfie, and spend a great amount of time perfecting it, try to stop and think–what am I really getting out of this? Why do I need all that validation so often? What need am I really trying to fill here?

This honest self-examination is the beginning of real self-love. Real self-love is when you truly start to get to honestly know yourself , and treat yourself with kindness, respect and compassion.

Zen master Dogen once said: “To know yourself is to forget yourself.”

Once you stop running away from your pain, only then can you begin to know yourself.

Once you begin knowing yourself and the things that hurt you, then you can start the process of healing.

Once you start healing, then you can start learning how to truly love yourself.

Once you’ve learned to love and care for yourself,  only then can you really forget yourself–and start sharing that love you’re learning and practicing, with others.

This process takes incredible self-awareness and sensitivity; many are able to access this through meditation.

What behavior do you overindulge in incessantly, to the point of mindless compulsion? Eating, drinking, smoking, selfie-taking, sex? Next time, stop and examine the feelings that arise right before you engage in addictive behavior. Try and identify it. Then try and see if you can live with that feeling (pain, sadness, boredom). Instead of blunting it–try and address it and find the root cause. This process will help bring about increased self-knowledge, the start of genuine self-love.

“No matter where you come from or how much money your family has…you can succeed in college.” ~ First Lady Michelle Obama


This is a selfie, seen on Twitter, that comes with a good purpose. Inspiring others through words and/or pictures online is a good thing.

First Lady Michelle Obama has, no doubt, great selfie-taking experience, as a mom to two young ladies, who, more likely than not, she is preparing for college.

The antiselfie is noting a trend among millennial postings online today: there seems to be a big hopeless feeling about getting a college education.

More and more, we see millennial-targeted articles like “Why college is a waste of time,” “Why what you learn at college won’t be needed in the real world,” which appear to be written by a bunch of unhappy college graduates (or dropouts) unable to find the best-ever job in the entire universe.

For some reason, a lot of twentysomethings believe that they’re automatically entitled to the very, very best, right away, all the time.

That’s probably a false belief. But so is talking about education as an unnecessary thing.

Mrs. Obama’s message is a great reminder on the value of higher education. It’s also a great way to use social media.

Have you posted a selfie/status update/meme lately that encourages self-improvement?

Pope Francis On How To Use The Internet


Yes, that’s the head of the Catholic church posing for a selfie with a fan. It’s a great picture that just shows how in touch this Pope is with people.

The news headlines were full of Pope Francis’ blessing bestowed upon the internet, calling it a “gift of God.”

But let’s not forget the rest of his statement. Pope Francis had, in effect, issued guidelines on good Intenet usage and online behavior!

“The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us.”

Translation: Get your face off your smartphone and talk to real people, will you?

He called for communications in the digital era to be like “a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts.”

Translation: Quit trolling, trolls! Haters, stop hating! More antiselfies please! (Antiselfies – content that promote kindness, gratitude, compassion and universal values that comfort others, opposite of self-obsession and narcissism, best demonstrated by relentless selfie-taking and posting.)

“May the light we bring to others not be the result of cosmetics or special effects, but rather of our being loving and merciful neighbors to those wounded and left on the side of the road.”

Translation: Enough of this junky, dime-a-dozen content showing photoshopped worldly materialism. Let’s use the internet to help those who need help, like the weak and vulnerable people of society.

Have you checked your postings today? Are you using this “gift from God” in a way that benefits others?

Read more about Pope Francis’s comments on the internet:


“You are hereby fined $1 per selfie on charges of self-obsession. ” ~ The Selfie Police


“On behalf of humanity, you are hereby fined $1 per selfie on charges of self-obsession. All the money goes to fund education for kids who can’t afford college, let alone a $600 self-indulgence device. Donate and join us. Police your friends. There’s a lot of work to be done. Together we can turn vanity into charity.” ~ The Selfie Police’s booking statement

The antiselfie wants to laugh and cry at the same time, as it reads about the Selfie Police.

The Selfie Police is a new program that rides on people’s self-confessed, unabashed vanity to raise funds for impoverished kids who can’t afford to go to college, reports Elite Daily.

It’s so simple, it’s brilliant. (Laughcry here.) For every selfie you snap, you donate a dollar to help poor kids go to college.

The program is of course, voluntary. With the bajillion selfies taken around the word every single day, there really is potential for raising bajillion dollars.

“When we first came up with the idea we were trying to think of how to engage our generation in giving. It’s tricky because we’re such a selfish generation, so the question we asked was not how do we make our generation charitable, but how do we turn selfishness into charity. That’s where Selfie Police was born.” Chas Barton told the Norwich Bulletin.

“We want to engage our generation in helping other kids our age dealing with the same sorts of issues, trying to go to college and school, but who just don’t have the same opportunities we do.”

The concept is praiseworthy. But at the risk of sounding like an obstructionist harpie, the antiselfie has a few observations about this scheme.

First, we reiterate: we LOVE raising funds and helping others. Especially underserved kids aspiring for higher education. In fact, this is the antiselfie’s advocacy, when we aren’t blogging about selfies and antiselfies.

BUT we just aren’t too sure about encouraging the principle of giving to look good, which the Selfie Police seems to be promoting. This program seems to say, it’s okay to be addicted to selfies (translation: narcissistic) as long as you help poor kids?

It’s kind of like drinking.  Do you drink in moderation, and know when to stop, or do you regularly stumble out of the bar and black out? Will it make things better if you donated money but continue to have a drinking problem? Probably not.

Let’s pause here for a little self-diagnosis: Do you take selfies in moderation, or do you expend quite a bit of energy on selfie taking and posting? Do you post selfies to get a buzz? How often do you need that high of people liking and commenting on your selfie?

We here at theantiselfie believe, selfie addicts just need a little intervention.

We suggest that instead of using your energy for one selfie, why not instead practice a little kindness? It’s a practice in restraint and proactively reaching out to others in kindness.

We believe that once a selfie addict experiences the genuine fulfillment that springs from having an attitude of  “What can I do for you? How can I help you?” instead of “How will this make me look good? How can I attract more and more attention to me?”–then the selfie addiction will naturally taper off.

Yes, let’s raise funds so poor kids can go to college.

But let’s also help ourselves and wean ourselves away from our growing addiction to self and selfies, and start genuinely doing something good for its own sake.

No money needs to be involved, because kindness comes free.

Read more about The Selfie Police here:


A Million Likes for A Big AntiSelfie Message: Stop Bullying, Stay Strong


This is one of the best postings I’ve seen. It’s gotten 1,130,718 likes and has been shared 175,611 times on Facebook so far.

This is THE ideal, as far as we here at theantiselfie are concerned.

It spreads an important message that makes a difference. It is a true antiselfie.

We checked out the Facebook page that shared this image. Called Stay Strong, the page posts quotes and pictures that, we imagine, would lift up the spirits of depressed teen-agers going through issues typical at that age.

We’ve read many stories of how social media can cause depression because of all the pictures and messages that might suggest that someone else’s life is better than yours.

Stay Strong is an example of how we think social media is best used. Harnessing its power for good, Stay Strong is pro-kindness, an antiselfie page.

We hope to interview Crissy of New York, New York one day about her page.

Keep up the good work, Crissy! Like her page:


“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” ~ William Arthur Ward


This quote sounds really cheesy, we at theantiselfie are aware. But believe it or not, there is truly power in smiling, so much so that it’s a form of meditation taught by the revered Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

This is not the “fake it ’til you make it” forced smile, but rather a gentle smile that comes forth, as part of serenity and calmness that are byproducts of meditation.

I was first made aware of the power of smiling during a retreat, when at the end, the instructor asked us all to stand in a circle, softly gaze at the floor and have a half-smile, which he called a “Buddha smile.”

He then asked everyone how they felt. Incredibly, I did feel an internal softening and lightness.

Don’t take my word for it. Relax your face. Have a half-smile and a softer gaze. See if you feel a little… less stressed? Less anxious? Dare we say a little..kinder?

Take your brand new half-smile for a spin, and check it out–are more people actually smiling at you? Yes, they are.

How does that make you feel? Maybe a little less tight and more expansive perhaps–and may we suggest, more prone to being kind?

So when you take that next selfie, look at your smiling self and decide that your smile isn’t just for posting on Facebook or Instagram. It’s going to be for the real people you meet in your real life. And watch the changes unfold in your life.

Observe random people. Check your internal reaction to those who have stern, harsh expressions. Compare that to your reaction to people who smile and have gentle expressions. Who would you want to be friends with more?

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” ~ Mother Teresa



On a gray and cold early morning, the sidewalks of an affluent neighborhood were lined with heaps of blankets, cardboard and plastic garbage bags. Underneath those mounds of insulation, the homeless were asleep.

The streets were deserted, except for myself and another man, who was dragging a big blue suitcase with wheels. Both of us were surveying the landscape. Under some of these makeshift bedcovers, there seemed to be  more than one person–perhaps a mother and her children? Or siblings? Or lovers down on their luck? Who knew what stories were buried beneath these layers of material.

The man stopped, opened his suitcase and pulled out a pair of jeans. He laid them by one of the heaps. Those jeans would come in handy, somehow, at least to one person.

Here at theantiselfie.com, we love seeing antiselfies in action, online or offline. What is an antiselfie? It’s an act of kindness, an attitude of wanting to be of benefit to others.

How about trying to do an antiselfie today? Let us know how it went. :)

The AntiSelfie Movement Growing: “I want to see more young women holding a fish than holding their camera in front of a bathroom mirror doing a selfie.”~ Sarah Palin


Guess who just joined the anti-sefie movement?

None other than former Alaska governor and defeated Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

“I want to see more young women holding a fish than holding their camera in front of a bathroom mirror doing a selfie,” Palin said, according to E! online.

Whatever your politics, Palin does make a point, in fact, a point very similar to ours here at theantiselfie.com.

The point is there are a lot better things to do with our lives, no? Like go outdoors and go fishing. Palin was just saying–do something else, drop your device and do something else than bathroom mirror and selfie gazing!

If you’re not into fishing, how about something that benefits others (the opposite of focusing on self too much)–like being kind to others?

Suggestions: help the homeless, feed the hungry, open doors for others, say kind words instead of bashing people, the list is really endless.

Palin’s anti-selfie quote is related to her forthcoming show on the Sportsman Channel scheduled to debut April.  The show is about, well, the outdoors.

How many selfies do you take and post in a week? Have you asked yourself why you love taking pics of yourself and posting them?