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The Selfie Impact

Wikipedia defines a Selfie as -

selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as FacebookInstagram and Twitter. They are usually flattering and made to appear casual.

While reading tweets about Jaipur Lit Fest 2016 this morning, I read that Stephen Fry has made a New Year Resolution of 'No Selfies', which he is sticking to.

It lead to an interesting conversation on twitter with Neil Gaiman advising that Stephen Fry hand out paper cutouts of his face, JK Rowling going a step further suggesting that a caricaturist tag along and Alan Baxter gave an idea which, time permitting, I think all the authors would prefer. Alan Baxter tweeted - "It's a LitFest - scribble a quick descriptive paragraph with each person."

I think Stephen Fry took a good stand, considering @Anjhula tweet -

In 2014, The American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially confirmed that 'taking selfies is a mental disorder'. Actually they didn't.
It was reported by The Adobo Chronicles - Your Best Source of Up-to-date Unbelievable News.
They are a satire website and said that there are three levels of the disorder:
1. Borderline selfitis: taking photos of one's self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.
2. Acute selfitis: taking photos of one's self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media.
3. Chronic selfitis: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one's self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.

This fake news was lapped up by everyone left, right and centre. It still gets forwarded on Whatsapp often enough in the name of public interest.

After all, it did seem possible enough.

In 2015, came the news of The Dangerous Art of the Ultimate Selfie.
"If 2014 was the year of the selfie, then 2015 took the art of self-photography to a new and dangerous level.
People are, quite literallly, dying to take a picture of themselves."

India had the most selfie-related deaths in 2015.

Going through the newspaper with my morning tea, I started reading the  news aloud to my family. My son, who is the selfie king of our family, gave me an exasperated look and said, "I know better than to go that crazy." I do admit that I had been thinking of his selfie sprees that make him be oblivious of all that is around him.

I was actually surprised to find a Wikipedia page of List of selfie-related injuries and death. There are already a lot of them listed there. And increasing.

The latest that I have read about is about the death of a 23-year old at a Fort in Jodhpur.

Selfies are not just about a new trend of clicking pics, or the convenience of clicking oneself when alone.

There is the problem of self-obsession.
And the insensitivity of taking selfies at the wrong time.

Then there is the problem of not enjoying the moment. There is this complaint against cameras that one is so busy capturing the moment on camera.

There was a question asked on Quora recently - "What makes a person boring?"

This answer - - by Bijaya Biswal tells a very interesting story and should be read.
He ends with -
What makes a person boring
Lack of observation.
Lack of imagination. 
Lack of curiosity.

Selfies have their time and place. It always comes back to the same, doesn't it... "Strive for Balance".

©Nimi Arora


  1. Why has this civilisation created so many Narcissists?

    1. Haven't majority of us always been Narcissists? We just have more ways to indulge ourselves more now.

  2. Hahahha what an interesting post Nimi :) I am a selfie addict but three times a week may be :)

    1. Three times a week is not addiction, Shweta. We need those many pictures of you :)


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