Digital Self Esteem

The trend of selfies, social accreditation and online popularity is rapidly becoming a measure of self-worth and achievement. (The average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies in his or her lifetime) I feel it is important to reflect on how technology can create boundaries and disassociation as well as encourage engagement and connections. Will the next generation begin to feel like they are a ‘disappointment’ or inadequate version of their edited digital persona and why? (where it becomes worrying is when the illusory virtual self you’re selling is more appealing than the real self.)

Adolescence is a crucial time when our identities are being challenged. Working with a two way mirror I asked my subjects all aged between 7 and 17 to really see themselves; spend time with their reflection and confront and accept their appearance. The informal and wild environment of the outdoors created a relaxed and atmospheric setting that encouraged my subjects to feel present as I took the pictures from the other side. I asked the young people to concentrate on areas of their reflection intensely and meditatively let their attention flow around their features.

The gaze that is revealed is both present and distant, internal yet revealing. Their expressions make us wonder what they are thinking as they truly gaze at themselves devoid of technology or judgement.