Health + Safety

Study: Too Many Selfies Can Have A Negative Impact on Kids

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Taking thousands of pictures of your cute kids to share with family and watching kids take selfies may be cute, but it could have a negative impact, according to a new study.

Taking photos can help build a healthy self-image for children and capture memorable moments, but shooting too many photos and videos to instantly show toddlers could backfire.

Deborah Best, a professor of cognitive developmental psychology at Wake Forest University in  Winston-Salem, N.C, says the affects for members of the first truly “smartphone generation” could cause long lasting problems.

“The instant gratification that smartphones provide today’s toddlers is going to be hard to overcome,’ she said.  ‘They like things immediately, and they like it short and quick. It’s going to  have an impact on kids’ ability to wait for gratification. I can’t see that it  won’t.”

Julie Young, a Boston-based behavioral analyst, witnessed the need for instant gratification firsthand with her own children. Recently she was helping her son record a happy birthday video for his cousin on her iPhone when interrupted the video to ask “Mom, can I see it.”

“He couldn’t even wait to get the last sentence out,’ said Young, who has two  sons.

Since, Young has opted to make her kids wait patiently to see their photos or videos.

Though negative affects are noted, a child development expert says it’s natural for toddlers to be  fascinated with their own image (think mirrors), and that interest plays an  important developmental role as they develop a sense of self.

So like most things, if done in moderation, things should be fine.


(Photo Credit: JGI/Thinkstockphotos)