But First, Let Me Take A Selfie

According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day. (Photo: wikimedia commons)
According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app’s users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The public has been asked to think before taking out their mobile phones to capture pictures of horrific accidents.  the appeal follows the death of toddler on the way to kindergarten in Waterford.

The Waterford City Fire Station had to make the plea on it’s Facebook page after a fatal road accident in the city centre claimed the life of two-year-old Daenerys Crosbie earlier this month.

To think people could stand there and watch a toddler fight for her life, let alone video it on their mobile phones, turns my stomach and I’m sure many more around the country.

On the city’s fire service’s Facebook status, they described how a few onlookers immediately reached for their phones to take “ghoulish, thoughtless and extremely distasteful” videos and images of the horrifying scene.

The Facebook post read:

“The crew at the scene were astounded by the number of people trying to capture the incident on their phones. This has been an ongoing trend for a number of years now, never better illustrated than at an RTA not too long ago where a man (In his thirties, not a teenager) crept up, phone poised and recording, to within ten feet or so of a car where we were trying to extricate the driver while the ambulance crew were treating him. The driver died en route to hospital.

“Why do people do this? It’s ghoulish, thoughtless and extremely distasteful. We could fill this page with photos of the injured and dead that we see. But we don’t.

“Sometimes it’s enough to know that horrible things happen without having to see them. Most obviously there’s the matter of respect for the dignity of the people involved and the desire of paramount importance to not add to the grief and anguish felt by their families and friends.

“So if you know somebody who considers this kind of thing alright ask them to think about it just a little more.”

To give my own honest opinion, I think the selfie craze in general has gone too far, so much so that the term is now featured in the Oxford Dictionary and the rumour mill has it that Kim Kardashian is set to release her very own 352-page selfie book, aptly named Selfish.

For me, it was the ‘funeral selfie’ that really took the biscuit. This, I feel, needs no explanation and can be seen here.

The selfie craze has become dangerous, even life threatening, as a Polish couple recently plunged to their deaths after trying to take a selfie on a cliff in Portugal. And that’s not all: in Manila, reports have said a 14-year-old student fell down her school stairs and died while she was trying to snap a selfie. In Mexico City, it was reported that a 21-year-old man died when he grabbed a gun with the intention of posing with it for a selfie and it went off, accidentally shooting himself in the head.

And then to make matters worse, along came the selfie stick, which has somehow made it to Time magazine’s list of 25 best inventions of 2014.

The selfie stick in action (Photo: Flickr)
The selfie stick in action (Photo: Flickr)

Mental health professionals are increasingly seeing patients who have become obsessed with and addicted to taking selfies.

Psychologist Jason O’Callaghan of The D4 Clinic said “We now offer social media addiction therapy sessions in our D4 Clinic. It shows a narcissistic side to people’s personalities when they obsess about taking selfies. The odd one or two is fine but when people obsess about it to the extent to when they are not living in the now but living in the online world, then it becomes an issue. Only recently, cases have been seen where people have taken selfies at accidents instead of helping the people involved.

“We also find a lot of anxiety and stress causes by online addiction where young people are more open to getting bullied online because it never stops, unlike school when they can leave and go home. They take what they see and what they read online to be factual, rather than understanding that some posts are fakes. Lies and options and views may be misunderstood. When it comes to body image, we often see celebrities posting images of themselves which are clearly photo shopped to make them look slimmer or fitter, then young people get upset with their own body image, not realizing the image they see is not really what the person looks like.”

At some point, at least I hope, we will get tired of these “look at me” type photos bragging about how our lives are better than all the people’s we just sent the photo to. I don’t particularly want to see what you are having for lunch today; or how Starbucks spelt your name wrong on your overpriced coffee again; how many squats you did at the gym; or a video of a concert you’re at (all I can hear is screaming anyway). These are your experiences, enjoy the moment instead of watching it happen through your phone screen. Go out and actually live your experiences, if you wanted to watch it on your phone screen you could have stayed at home and saved your money.

Let me take a selfie.. (Photo: Amy Grehan)
Let me take a selfie..
(Photo: Amy Grehan)

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Clear Stream of Reason and commented:
    Good article!! Have to reblog this one… My personal take on this is that selfie once in a while is good…But it should’nt be an obsession and should be used at appropriate places…. Technology must not intrude our lives…. and definitely must be avoided in sensitive situations & circumstances….

Leave a Reply