“Let me first take a selfie.” This is one line we hear almost every time whether we are on a trip, having a romantic dinner or in fact doing nothing. As the megapixel count of the front-facing camera on a smartphone is increasing day by day, the craze for taking a selfie has become an integral part of the society. The result is over a million of selfies taken and posted or shared every day.
Smartphone marketers have not missed the trend, dedicating whole lines of handsets to the selfie.
We all love posting a selfie on the social media or simply share with our friends and foes. But there is another side of this coin, which only few think about. Much like our rash driving habit which has made India the deadliest country for highway travel, our selfie craze has also given the country the dubious distinctio of no. 1 rank for selfie related deaths. According to a report carried by scholars from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi in 2016, India has had far more selfie-related deaths than any country around the globe. The research highlights that out of 127 deaths reported in over past two years, 76 deaths occurred in India alone. A number that seems to be going up everyday, going by news reports we see every day.
If the sheer risk of trying to have a moving train, a dangerous animal, or extremely risky natural elements was not enough, there are risks associated with the regular benign selfie too.
We have seen many researchers coming out with a negative impact of taking regular selfies. The latest one from the folks at the University of Toronto found that people who take regular selfies tend to overestimate how attractive and likeable they are. Though you might say that it is not a bad thing to like oneself but it also leads to “self-favouring bias”, which at the end can turn us into a narcissist. Or can drastically lower your self-esteem, as per research. The report highlights that the more often we looked at selfies, the lower our self-esteem and life satisfaction. This could lead to an isolation from the social environment, as a person become more and more involved in his/her-self, to the point f obsession. We all know it, don’t we? There is nthing more boring or a put off than a person obsessed with himself/herself.
Then there is an angle of health issues. A recent reveals that people who take a lot of effort to the capture perfect selfie excessively are prone to an addiction. The best example is the case of Danny Bowman. The person was so obsessed with taking a ‘perfect selfie’ that he dropped out school, lost much weight, and would spend around 10 hours a day taking over 200 selfies just to capture the perfect one. But when we released that he couldn’t take a perfect selfie, he eventually tried to commit suicide.
Mr Bowman might be an extreme case, but the milder one is also alarming. Many researchers suggest that taking selfies can distort your body image. The thrust to get the perfect angle and the perfect body for taking selfie will make you feel increasingly critical, and dissatisfied with your own body, fragging your confidence back for no good reason.
And lastly, there is of course the injury linked specifically to taking too many selfies, the selfie elbow. Just like tennis elbow, a person who takes a photo on a regular basis can suffer from inflammation in the tendons that run along one’s arm from hand to elbow. To conclude, take your selfie-taking like an indulgence, do it when the opportunity is special, otherwise ignore it, no one really cares. They are too worried about themselves!