AVOID SELFIE DEATHS

We had a very good week on the topic: “Selfie & Psyche“, click and check all the articles if you haven’t read them yet. But all the writers warned about the dangers involved in taking selfies with a mindless psyche. As human we have been given the best brains than all the living beings in this whole universe and thus it is necessary for us as human to be wise while capturing our selfies.

I found this video which describes few shocking incidents about selfie. Hope this will scare you enough to keep yourself safe and sound while capturing your fun picture.

Capture Safe Selfie, Stay Safe!

 

SELFIE IS NOT REALLY A CINCH

* 8 year-old-kid accidentally shoots himself a selfie with a gun in Ghaziabad.

* A Chinese businessman tried taking a selfie with a walrus but was dragged into the pool and drowned to death by the massive- toothed creature.

* Two Russian soldiers were posing for a selfie with a live grenade that detonated unexpectedly. Only the phone with the photo survived.

* A 66-year-old Japanese tourist lost his balance and fell backwards to his death down the steps of the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie at the Royal Gate.

*Taking a selfie with friends atop a train turned lethal for a class 10th student who came in contact with an overhead electric wire and was thrown off the train.

We have come across many such ghastly cases where taking a selfie went wrong and where the fun turned fatal.

Selfie is the latest fad which has made the masses crazy selfies indeed have proved a boon for us, especially for those who love getting clicked.

No doubt clicking photos have become a cinch. We don’t need to depend on anyone anymore for photos.

Not only that selfies, can be a great stress buster. Yes! Studies have shown that clicking selfie photos have a positive effect, making people feel connected, elevate confidence, thus helping to reduce stress.

In the words of Billy Cox, “Technology should improve your life, not become your life”.

Similarly selfies should be taken safely. You are not going to win an award for clicking a selfie in the zoo, are on top of a cliff, or at the seashore. Use technology wisely. It’s good to smile at the phone, but it’s more important to be cautious while you do that.

Stay happy, stay alert!

Happy Selfie’ing’!

CLICK AT A SAFER ZONE

I have some beautiful memories but some not so awesome pictures of my first trip with my hubby after marriage. Why? Here’s the  reason. In the first couple of days only we got tired of the routine of you click my picture and then I click yours. So what was the next option? Asking the passerbys to click our pic. And the result was some were out of focus or the background was not that good etc.. the general errors made if we click in a hurry. And at one stop we hired one of those professional photographers that are present at almost all heritage or tourist spots in India. He asked us to pose in such a typical Bollywood style that we abandoned the project Midway.

Sometimes I wonder if we had the selfie stick then maybe we could have saved ourselves all that hassle. But alas selfies were not in existence then.

So I would say this latest fad is quiet interesting. We get to decide how our picture is composed, make sure our eyes are not closed and decide the most flattering angle for our face etc. And there is no limit to the number of selfies we keep taking. And guys let’s accept it we all are a little bit narcissistic deep inside. We all love the likes and comments we get on Facebook or Instagram when we post our pictures.

On the flip side what is a trend these days would have been considered bad photography some 10-15 years ago. I mean just check out the groupfies or group selfies on social media sites. All you can see is huge faces, The biggest face is of the person who clicks it. At times the group is standing way behind the camera man just so that all can be captured in the selfie. There is no concept of centering or perfect background. It’s just about how many faces can be cramped in one frame. But so what the trends keep changing. Even the clothes we wear today also were not acceptable 10-15 years ago.

Recently I saw an advertisement of some Nokia phone which takes photos from the front camera and back camera simultaneously. They call it bothie. Wow now this makes us real multi-taskers. We are posing and clicking at the same time. Don’t know the real need for this other than the fact that people are getting more and more creative to sell their products. Makes me wonder what next?

Things take an ugly turn when trends become obsession. The obsession to take a perfect selfie has driven many people to dangle from ledges, walk into traffic or fall off into rivers or get swept away by the sea. I really don’t understand why people throw away plain common sense into the dustbin and behave like crazy people. This craze for doing something different and getting maximum likes on the social media is really dangerous. When we are concentrating on the selfie we don’t realize where we are stepping. So guys take care. Exercise caution. There is  nothing more important than life itself.

Keep pouting and clicking and enjoy but remember safety comes first in whatever you do.

Smile please…

THE SELFIE MANIA

A couple of days back I read of a shocking incident that had happened in the October of 2014, in Italy. A female nurse was arrested for the murder of 38 victims. But what was more shocking was a disturbing photo seized by the police: a selfie the nurse took of herself (in her hospital scrubs) standing near the body of a recently deceased patient while smiling and making a thumbs-up gesture! The local prosecutor, aghast at the horrific nature of the evidence remarked, “In all my professional years of seeing shocking photos, there were few such as these.”

Sometime back, the Indian newspapers carried the story of a young lad who lost his life while taking a selfie on a railway track with a fast approaching train behind him! So sad. He didn’t live to share his daring act!

To make the mood of this article a bit lighter, how many of you have competed with family members and friends as to who can pout the best for a selfie?

Yes, the selfie trend has brought in with it pouty poses (horns, winks and V-signs were already there before). Be it alone or with a group of friends, to pout for a selfie is the in-thing. Sounds cool!

While clicking selfies for harmless fun captures good moments, an overdose of ‘taking selfies’ is really something to worry about.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has officially declared taking ‘selfies’ a mental disorder. The disorder is named ‘selfitis’ and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.

According to APA, there are three levels of the disorder:

  • Borderline selfitis – taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media
  • Acute selfitis – taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media
  • 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

Well well, if you are not in any of these three categories, you are sort of safe. But yes, the separating line is not impermeable!

When I started taking selfies, I really had to learn the right way to incline the camera at the right angle, place the finger at the right postion for the click, take a proper pose with the background in mind, smile and then c..c..click… After the initial clumsiness, when I sort of got used to it (haven’t mastered it yet), I had the urge to take a couple of selfies after I reached my workplace early in the morning and then later when I was about to wind up for the day – just to compare how fresh I looked as I started the day and how worn out I looked as the workday came to an end. I generally never took selfies at other times. Neither did I post them in any social media site. On a few occasions, I shared a couple of good ones with friends and family.

But each day as I took those selfies at my workplace and looked at myself, I wondered why I was doing it. Wasn’t it making me focus more on ‘how I look’ rather than on ‘who I am’? Yes, indeed appearance is an integral part of who we are. However, I felt that clicking selfies is making me focus more on ‘the me’ and ‘the I’ and there was a danger of slipping into an obsession regarding one’s looks. So, no more selfies in the workplace for me!

An occasional selfie with a group of loved ones or at a scenic place of visit is definitely something to cherish. But when we become fixated with our own image, it does speak something more than just a picture.

Our feel-good factor should not rest merely with how we look externally – in our own eyes or in the eyes of others. It is definitely much more than that.

The story is told in Greek mythology about a hunter called Narcissus who was known for his beauty. Once he saw his own reflection in a pool and fell in love with it, not realizing that it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he died. Thus we have the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one’s physical appearance or public perception. And, several decades back, the APA classified one of the personality disorders as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Some of you may feel that I am simply making a harmless selfie sound so terrifying. But, its important to remember that our gestures towards ourselves do convey a world load of meaning about our psychological state.

As I have stated before, an occasional selfie for a memory does not indicate psychological ill-health. Its only when we become obsessive about taking selfies every now and then, that it is something to worry about.

The need for appreciation, approval, acceptance, affirmation, self-esteem; a feeling of loneliness and depression steer one to find satisfaction in one’s own self. And these are the chief factors that unconsciously propel us to love or hate our own images.

The next time you incline your camera to click a selfie, do pause for a moment and ask yourself why are you about to take this selfie.

SELFIE -MEMORIES OF MADNESS

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I turned my face this way, that way, pout faces, everything I tried, the more I clicked the worst I looked. When someone noticed me, I never took a selfie, it was an odd form I felt. I did not want to be put up in the list of selfie madness.But yes, there I was falling into the trap of “selfie obsession”.

Do I term it as a “self-obsession”?

No, It is not the self obsession, its like self- realization for me. I am not someone who is fond of mirrors or anything that showcases the outer beauty, but of late, the front cameras started to grab my attention. I started taking my photos, to see how I react to the cameras, how do I capture my moments, special moments that I want to cherish. Even though it was the camera click, I looked into the eye of the camera, focus my attention, trying to involve myself in the picture, and as I clicked, the picture was not only on the screen but also in my memory. Every special moment with my child, I wanted in my heart, selfie was indeed helping me to create a collage of memories.

The way I played with the different shades of colors, fillers, beautification etc. was almost thrilling me. I loved the black and white shade, the  reflection of me in it. Indeed like many others, I tried different styles, but Never it worked on me. Until unless the picture speaks of me, I never uploaded them in my social media profiles.

It might be an obsession for others, a weird madness as I term it.I still pursue it, to get rid of my camera shyness. I was from the very beginning a camera shy, always the one who spoils the group picture, hence this selfie madness revived the thought in me “I am also beautiful”, helping me to stand upright and smile in my photos. I am shy to take selfies in front of other scared of being categorized as one among those mad collections.

Yet all these thoughts vanished .. as I went on clicking my own memories.

Selfies are total madness….Memories of Madness as I would love to call it.

 

CALL IT SELFIE, GROUPIE OR USSIE, I LOVE THEM !

I always carry my 📷 for trips, in some groups, they call me the ‘official photographer‘, the downside to it is, I capture pictures of everyone, but I won’t be there in any of those. There are some people who gracefully say, “let me take a picture of you”,that is when the problems start, first – I am camera shy, second – since they are operating my camera most of the time I am giving instructions on how to take a picture, third – consciously I am waiting for the sound of the click to unfreeze myself, the result is a not so good picture. 

Let me share with you the funny moment I often experience. Subject, exposure, positioning of the subject in the scene are very important for a good picture. I know that others may not have an idea to balance these, so I usually make them stand in the scene, do the settings, take a picture and show it to them, so that they can do the same, all they have to do is hold the camera and click !! When I am the subject 90% of people are no where close to how their picture was, sometimes it brings a smile on to my face, anyway, I finally end up with no picture of mine with that surroundings. 

I don’t know who got this wonderful idea of adding a camera to the front of a mobile phone, thanks to him/her. It’s very handy because it’s not bulky, just by holding in one hand, at the press of a button I have my picture. As someone rightly said, a photographer should know how to take a selfie if their picture has to be taken!! 

Most of my problems are solved with the advent of selfie. I don’t have to request another person to take a picture. I can position myself aptly for the scene, I can see what I am capturing, if I don’t like it, I can click many times till I do. Since I am the one taking the picture, I don’t feel shy anymore. Of course, a selfie looks different than a picture captured by someone else, but for me, it totally works…

When I am with group of friends or family, capturing a groupie(ussie), makes me satisfied in two ways, I am the photographer and I get to be in the frame too !! 

Couple of years ago, I had an accident in the kitchen while I was on business trip in the US. I took some selfies on my friend’s request, may be he was worried, I had burns all over my face and hands. It made me feel so better that someone is caring for me from other side of the world, I tried to portray myself strong in the pictures so that I don’t scare him of, it boosted my confidence. 

Few months later I did skydiving when my face still had dark scars from the burns, all the selfies captured on go-pro show the marks of the accident I had. It took more than an year for me to completely recover, but those selfies, ah, even today they do remind me of the accident scene, the pain, the struggle and a fighter in me. Thanks to my friend, if not for him, I wouldn’t have captured any pictures or had a chance to reflect on them later. Nevertheless, it was possible because of selfies. A selfie taken at hospital while I was on my way for medical procedure made me relax, imagine, how do we ask someone else to take a picture while we’re on the hospital bed 😋

I won’t say I am obsessed with selfies, my selfies are only for those whom I am very very close to. I won’t mind taking it any time of the day, even when I look half dead. Sometimes, I do ask people to share their selfie, and when they do, it’s a feeling of being together. I can feel that connection with a person thousands of miles away. It is as if the person is with me looking into my eyes. I wish they weren’t that far, but selfie makes me forget that distance at least for a few moments. 

Last but not least, I came across a video on WhatsApp, where a man expresses that selfie is for those people who are alone, don’t have another person who can take a picture. I differ, selfies are for those who are happy and content with themselves, who can love themselves and express themselves. Selfie has a lot of positives when we put it to good use !!

By the way, my gravatar display picture of WordPress is a selfie !!!! 

‘SELFIE’ – A WAY OF EXCHANGING EMOTIONS

“I need an inspiration right away… Please send me a one liner of your own to inspire me…” I gave a task to my co-authors in the group and few others two days ago and they sent me following the lines:

“What have you done so far.”

“At least I have these people in my life!”

“Even in tough times hold my hand in yours and heart in mine.”

“Lofty are the mountains, loftier still are my dreams.”

“Every morning when you wake up, among the million things that pull u back, look for the one thing or thought that takes you towards your goal.”

“Be the best in your own eyes, rest of the world will not matter.”

“You are not ‘Everyone’, you are WHAT you Are.”

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”

“Let your smile change the world but don’t let the world change your smile.”

“The world has many contagious thing, smile and success is one of the many.”

“Speaking the truth in love…”

“We may not be perfect but we are certainly not useless… We are God’s most wonderful creation designed in His image.”

“Know your worst fears, know your worst enemies, know your darkest secrets and then confront them all; that’s how you build on your worth and your strength.”

Now you may ask why I performed this exercise and why am I mentioning them in an article on a completely different subject…

All of the above statements were either written by themselves or taken from someone else… But all the statements reflect their feelings, their expressions and represent their psyche in connection with me or about themselves or about the situation they are going through. These are all Invisible Selfies of themselves.

I really want to appreciate all of them for sending me such beautiful inspirations. 🙂 And the above one is a ‘Video Selfie’ for expressing my gratitude.

A ‘Selfie’ always declares a person’s present state of appearance. How does a person look at one particular time? A Selfie gives the answer.

I love to take selfies… Why? Not because I am self-obsessed or NOT to post it on FB showing how handsome I look or how beautiful or expensive my clothes are… but to send them to my loved ones to let them know my present ‘state of appearance’ making them feel about the distant and real me. And I do expect them to send their selfies too to know their present state of appearance.

In my group there are many who are quick to send their selfies including me but some are extremely pushy or rocky or unshakeable. If you ask a selfie from them they behave in such a way as if I have asked their eyes or nose etc. 😉

I have one friend. She simply sent her morning selfie when I was in the hospital. And that gesture really touched me.

WHY?

Usually females don’t like to send their selfies early in the morning when they look shabby and without make up. They always like to look good and presentable before capturing themselves. They are very cautious and conscious. But she wasn’t. She wasn’t formal. She just wanted her real-present-state of appearance to be reflected to a close friend like me. I thanked her for that informality.

Now let’s talk about the spouses who are far from each other… Don’t you think it’s so beautiful to send selfies to each other letting each other know how they look at that particular time…? A selfie from each other when they are missing each other so desperately makes them feel loved and brings a delightful glee on their faces. Lovely, isn’t it?

Sometimes when I send a selfie to Aastha… she would immediately react like a sister saying, “Dada, you look tired… Take rest”, “Dada, that shirt doesn’t suit you”, “Dada, ask Bhabi to smile” and so on… I do the same when she or someone else sends me a selfie too.

My psyche behind a selfie is expressing myself to my loved ones… And it’s not that bad at all if handled well; in moderation and with wisdom. There will be many more views to ‘Selfie’ which we will be reading in the subsequent days of the week.

So friends! Keep capturing and sending selfies, keep expressing… But be CAREFUL!

Stay Blessed!!!