Those that follow me regularly will know that I am not a fan of the ‘selfie’. I find it frankly frightening that millenials are likely to take 25,000 selfies in the course of their lifetime! Assuming that it takes them only two minutes of their lives getting their phone out, turning the camera on, getting the right picture, taking it, checking it and posting it, that means they will spend over a month of their lives taking photos of themselves.
I have also found it disturbing that the only way to catalogue the fact that one is in a particular place is to take a ‘selfie’. This usually means that the importance of the location is relegated to the background.
It is equally disturbing that many of these ‘selfies’ are taken in locations that are not even memorable, whether in one’s bedroom, at the cinema or at the coffee shop!
All of this implies what I would describe as addictive behaviour however harmless it may appear. But we now find that it is not harmless. Indeed, we now find that death by ‘selfie’ is growing every year. In fact you are more likely to die from taking a selfie that from skydiving or a shark attack.
Mumbai, for so long known as the gateway to India, is now the ‘Selfiecide’ capital of the world and the gateway to the top country for ‘selfie’ deaths!
The logical solution would be to find ways of inhibiting the use of cameras on phones, but that would mean that service providers would lose revenue from reduced uploads, Cloud rentals etc. Even better would be for the narcissists to stop taking so many ‘selfies’.
However, increasingly, we need to think for them and hence I notice two innovations that are designed to stop people killing themselves.
The first is the introduction of the ‘selfie’ stand where a stand is provided at beauty spots where your camera can be set to timer and you can take your place on a pre-designated spot. That way you don’t fall over the edge while manoeuvring for your shot and you waste less time getting a good picture.
The second innovation is the introduction of ‘no selfie zones’! Mumbai already has twelve such zones in an effort to stop irresponsible people risking their lives to get a picture. Of course, this does mean that such zones need to be policed and that taxpayers have to fund enforcement for the benefit of the stupid.
Both of these measures will only reduce and not stop people getting killed. There will still be those that want to take a photo with a gun in their hand, whilst forgetting it is loaded, standing on a railway line or standing next to a wild animal.
And one final point of note in the ‘selfie’ debate relates to gender. I am sure that many of you will have observed that the real obsession with these photos appears to be with females. However, when it comes to killing yourself with a ‘selfie’ then men are three times more likely to do so!
The only sure way to stop these deaths is for people to start realising that the camera can point in the other direction.