Selfies have a huge impact on social media culture. It’s just a picture captured by oneself of them, but it transformed the social media culture so much. Did you know that teenagers, especially women spend around 5 hours a week taking selfies and uploading an average of 3 selfies a day?
Selfies have become a really important part of our lives. So much so we can’t fully experience something new without clicking a selfie of what’s happening around. Instead of actually enjoying and experiencing the moment, we get so immersed in taking a selfie that we fail to capture the actual moment in our minds.
Why do people take selfies?
People capture selfies to remember a moment or a precious memory. The popularity of selfies have crossed the stage of “popularity” and has become an obsession.Some take them to update their social media so others can see and it has become a habit among people, a habit that they can’t let go of.
Other than social media, many bloggers take selfies to put on their sites and make it more interesting, as it gives it more enjoyable and colorful. Having different types of pictures infatuates the reader and hooks them in to the blog. In a bid to take the better picture, bloggers often come up with outlandish (and dangerous) ideas, which can result in grave repercussions.
It has become so popular among people that they go to extreme lengths to get a good selfie. A parademic lost their job because they were busy taking pictures with the patient. Selfie isn’t necessarily something bad but it can be harmful.
Why are selfies harmful?
If you think about it the concept of selfies doesn’t sound dangerous does it? It is just a picture it can’t do any harm right? However, that’s not it, taking selfies have proved to be very dangerous in some cases.
Did you know many road accidents have occured because the drivers were trying to take selfies, losing their focus? In fact, people have also walked in front of moving traffic because they weren’t paying attention. And as bizarre as this may sound, even a pilot crashed a plane whilst taking a selfie, resulting in multiple deaths. A man died struck by lightning only because he was taking a selfie with a selfie stick.
Taking the better selfie has become a silent competition among tourists and travel bloggers and for that they go to extreme lengths and break several safety rules to get that “better” selfie but at what cost? A tourist in Thailand died due to taking a selfie near a waterfall. Similar cases have also happened around the world. Tourists risk their lives for a selfie, a single picture is not worth more than your life.
A few years ago there was an extremely dangerous trend where people would take pictures hanging from the edge of a roof. As a consequence, many people fell to their deaths after losing balance.
People have taken selfies in the past that were degrading, insensitive and downright humiliating to specific communities, races or nations. Multiple arrests have been made by authorities because of selfies containing information that is highly confidential or possibly harmful to a group of people. People have been banned from travelling as an outcome of taking selfies in locations that don’t authorize them.
So, the idea of selfie itself doesn’t seem harmful but because of the extreme lengths taken by people it became harmful. A simple task of taking selfies into a competition and people went to weird lengths to get a better picture than the other and got into trouble.
What changes have been made?
Spreading awareness among people is the key solution. Many countries have made posters and signs and placed them along the curbs to warn people about taking selfies while crossing roads or driving. Travel guides have improvised their plans and have dedicated time and spots for travellers or tourists who are looking for that perfect shot. Social media has also played a major role in education through articles, hashtags, and informative videos. These resources collectively highlight risky selfie locations and positions that you should avoid.
For example, you should not take selfies when close to a water body. The water can drown you and its current should not be underestimated. A driving or walking selfie can also result in a disaster. Then there’s the situation where you’re too close to wildlife to take a selfie. Be careful as animals can sneak up on you and put you in a life-threatening situation. Lastly, extreme selfies on cliffs or mountains give a high but might end up costing you your life. So, avoid these selfie experiments if you want to enjoy a longer lifespan.
Sometimes a simple selfie can cause a lot of problems and be harmful but no one is stopping you from taking selfies but be mindful of others. Make sure you’re being safe and not irrational. Learn about cultures and get educated on cultural aspects so that you don’t offend anyone. Like taking selfies in a mosque, or in a tomb, that’s insensitive so be sure to avoid doing that and you’re fine!
Also, you should keep your eyes on where your feet are and where you are going. This is more critical than checking out the viewfinder of your camera. Firmly planting your feet before capturing a memory (and not moving once that’s done) can minimize the chances of suffering an accident. And when you’re done, consider putting the smartphone or camera away to experience the view and be in the moment.
But eyes capture those moments because selfies and pictures are the only way to remember a precious memory. As you do so, remember to be careful and aware of your surroundings. Listen to authorities and tour guides and don’t try to break the rules and everything will go smoothly.