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Published on Sunday, 24 April 2016

 

Zakirul Mazed

As many as 12 people have died this year while taking photos of themselves with their phones. The victims are young people. They died while trying to take selfies in extreme conditions- on a bridge, on railway tracks in front of a moving train, or holding a weapon in their hands. What makes young people forget about the instinct of survival?

As a rule, fans of extreme sports are aware of the fact that they need to train a lot before they, let's say, decide to climb a mountain. Yet, people do not think of elementary safety rules as they take selfies on a cliff, in front of a train or near wild animals. One needs to learn to shoot a gun before shooting it. Yet, selfie lovers take a gun in their hands for a photo, and the weapon shoots, killing the person.

In Russia, a special brochure was published after several tragic incidents, warning long people of possible risks when taking selfie photos. Not that long ago, many Russian young men had the hobby of riding trains on the roofs. Those people were known as train surfers. News about their tragic deaths continues to appear in the Russian media every now and then. Yet, even after so many lethal outcomes, young people continue doing their dangerous stunts.

Such people want to live dangerously, they need to feel adrenalin in their veins. Today's generation of young people are the generation of people, who are too much fond of flashmobs and computers. Computer games give them an opportunity to create and experience situations that they do not experience in real life. Some others, though, decide to experience real-life adventures. They want to prove to their peers that they can easily balance on the edge of a 17-storeyed building. They want to make videos of themselves dancing on railway tracks or playing the Russian roulette. Such tricks give young people the overwhelming feeling of euphoric freedom. They live at the moment, when they are about to die.

Selfie has quickly become an inseparable part of modern-day culture. A selfie pic can say a lot about the person indeed. Yet, all selfie lovers have something in common.

When posting selfie pics, people, as a rule, hope for positive feedback. Having received good comments, a person starts taking more and more of such photos, seeking an approval to their looks from others. In this case, a person identifies themselves with their own persona. If others positively estimate their looks, it means that they also positively estimate the person per se.

The desire to take selfie pics does not necessarily indicate any psychological disorders. Most often, a selfie pic is a taken-in-the-mood picture. However, if you take more than three selfies a day and post them on social networks, you may develop a selfie mania - a form of addiction.

For the majority of those who publish heir own photos, a new post on the Internet and several comments to it comes as a confirmation to their own existence. Every one of us needs to feel fulfilled. An extreme selfie is a way to give others a reason to think that you are someone special, someone different .

That is why it is difficult to force someone to act  more cautiously when taking selfie. Taking a selfie pic in a safe environment simply makes no sense to such people. It is only extreme that gives them a sense of real life.

Man about to jump to his death?

Then it must be time for a selfie...

The selfie obsession provided the New York Post in this front page. It shows a woman snapping a mobile phone portrait of herself on Brooklyn Bridge while, in the background, police were trying to talk down a man threatening to commit suicide. She was spotted by the Post's reporter, Paul Martinka, who was covering the real life-or-death news event.

So he took a picture of her while she was taking a picture of herself. Naturally, he asked for her name but she buttoned up. He quotes her as saying: "I'd rather not."

Little did she know she was about to make it on to page one of a New Yorktabloid. And, for good measure, plenty of other papers across the States have since run the picture too. In such circumstances, it's unlikely that she will remain anonymous for long.

The Post went on to list other inappropriate selfies. Two examples- a man who murdered his mother posed with a picture of her severed head; and a high school pupil snapped himself while, in the background, his teacher was giving birth. Oh yes, just in case you were wondering, the man on the bridge was eventually talked down safely.

 

Editor: AQM Mahbubul Alom.  42/1 Segun Bagicha ( 2nd Fl) Dhaka -1000, Cell: 0181 9816603, Email: weeklycitizen@gmail.com