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One More Reason Teens Shouldn't Take Selfies

Photograph by Getty Images

A week or so ago I saw a super funny episode of the ABC show Trophy Wife where the whole family got lice. It was hilarious in a creepy, totally grossing me out, but in an "I can't stop laughing" kind of way.

Clearly made-up families on TV aren't the only one's scratching their heads wondering what's making them itch so badly. Head lice, a nasty little problem formerly reserved for preschoolers and elementary school students, is now on the rise with teens. Why? In a sitcom-worthy plot twist, teens are getting head lice because of the phenomenon known as the camera-phone selfie.

According to Time Magazine, head lice is a veritable teen epidemic. Here's how it works: Head lice—those litte nitty insects that like to grab onto the root of hair—is a condition that notoriously can take down a preschool class or kindergarten cluster faster than a kid coming to school with a contagious fever. That's because head lice like to see every human head as their own personal X-Games. That means head lice like to jump from one head to another.

Time Magazine suggests shaving your teen's head.

Why does that affect selfie-obsessed teens more? Well, when a few people take a selfie, they cluster together head-to-head and smile for the camera. Faster than they can post that latest picture to Facebook, the lice have jumped ship and found a new head to embed. As if teens weren't self conscious enough, now they have head lice to contend with every time they say cheese. Talk about gross.

So what's the solution? Time Magazine suggests shaving your teen's head. Seems a bit extreme to me. So maybe just suggest to your teens that they not put their head's close to their friends'. After all, lice are hard to detect and easy to get.

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Or maybe the lice/seflie outbreak is one more reason why we should all put down our phones. Maybe we're all spending too much time photographing our lives and not enough time living our lives. Plus, you'd hate for that photo of you getting lice to go viral.


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