When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we first experience self-consciousness; this is the exact moment when an individual becomes aware of himself or herself as an object. What happens next is that we start to compare ourselves with the ideal standards we see on TV and other media outlets. And the result is more and more people are feeling anxious because they do not feel good about themselves; they then start desiring unattainable beauty standards. Taking a selfie as a social phenomenon is a way through which people attempt to feel better about themselves. Very few selfies are meant to lighten someone’s mood or draw a smile on the face of a loved one.
|SEE ALSO: The Social Phobia|
A Selfie: More Dangerous than Fun
Posing for a selfie can be quite appealing for many; however, most people are unaware of the possible dangers a selfie may lead to. Most people often take selfies to show off certain activities or places. What they are also unaware of is that the dangers can last longer than they think, especially if they are unable to recognize the signs. That is why people need to be cautious about the information they include before sharing their selfies in public. They also have to be careful when they mention the place or names of people they are taking a selfie with.
But how can it be dangerous? Let’s take a look at the world of selfie and how this global craze can be dangerous, if not deadly.
Selfie Dangers People Normally Overlook
A Selfie Reveals Your Location
Basically, people take selfies to show off the things they do and the places they normally tend to visit. What they do not know is that sharing this information with others might as well put them in danger and unintentionally help stalkers find their location. In addition, if you usually go to a public place, you are making it easier for your stalker to find you. But who wants to be followed by a stalker while having dinner with a friend or being in the middle of a card game with their mates?
A Selfie Gives Out Personal Information
People either take selfies with friends or in other situations with celebrities. In both cases, people have to be more cautious about giving away information of time, place, and names of people they usually hang out with. By giving out this information, the person sharing it or other friends might be harmed if they are tracked down by a stalker.
A Selfie Shows How People Look Like
As you post a selfie on the Internet, you are not only giving out personal information, you are also letting others know how your friends and family members look like. While you think you are only doing something fun and light, you do not know that this might give a chance for someone else to use this information against you. Selfies reveal a lot about a person’s physical appearance and other personal descriptions such as clothing. Therefore, you are also sharing with a stalker or a potential criminal the places where you and your friends tend to hang out and the type of activities you tend to pursue.
A Selfie Sends the Message that “You Are Not Home”
A selfie is often taken outside. This way, you are making it easier for a criminal to predict the time you are not home and use it as an opportunity to break into the house. In the old times before the Internet, criminals and burglars had to watch your house for weeks before making the decision to housebreak; now all they need to do is be among your public social media’s account followers, knowing when and when not you’ll be out leaving your place empty and ready. Again, selfies are meant to be taken for fun, but be cautious about what they might lead to. Going back to a stolen house is not really how you were expecting the day to end.
A Selfie Shows Actions People Do
People often take selfies while doing certain activities. For example, someone might take a selfie if they are shopping and wants to get feedback on the new outfit. Another person who likes to work out can also take a selfie while at the gym and brags about it in front of his or her friends. Whether it is shopping, working out, or some other activity, you are again sending a message to your stalker about hobbies and activities you often like doing.
A Selfie Reveals Others’ Identities
Selfies will also show you with friends or co-workers. They’ll display the kind of relationships you have, whom you like, perhaps your new romantic interest, all of which are information that can be abused. If you’re taking a selfie at work and your friends have nametags that display their full names, issues like identity theft or blackmailing might also arise. Therefore, it is better to avoid wearing a nametag while taking a selfie if you want to protect your identity and the identity of others.
A Selfie Gives Out Details about Your Family
Selfies always reveal information about the appearance and age of other family members. Some family members feel concerned about taking a selfie; they might think that sharing details about their lifestyles in public might affect the family’s reputation, even if it is something you might not be paying attention to or mind doing. After all, the quality time spent with your family is not meant to be shared with everyone online; on the contrary, it should be kept private and limited to a certain number of people.
Taking a Selfie Can Become Addictive
Mental health professionals state that taking selfies can become an obsession especially for people who suffer from body image disorders. Some might also go to the extreme of trying to tweak their looks by downloading mobile applications for getting the perfect selfie result. Taking many celebrity selfies as a role model, many use some filters to fine-tune their skin or shoot a lot of selfies to finally get the perfect one. But when people are still not happy about the way they look, they might eventually seek plastic surgery.
Taking a Selfie Can Turn Deadly
But what happens when we are not happy with the way we look? We try to change our physical appearance and, in most cases, people never get the results they want. This is when taking selfies can even become deadly. For example, a case report shows that a British teenager once attempted suicide after he had failed to find the perfect light and pose for taking a selfie.
Taking selfies can really get out of control, but there are some strategies people can follow to avoid being harmed or becoming extremely obsessed with the habit. For those who are taking too many selfies, they might start to think of taking less daily. Also, they ought to consider sharing them with close friends only and not with everyone else. Another great technique is to consider taking pictures of their work achievements rather than selfies showing off how they look or the way they are dressed up. This can give them something even more valuable to share with friends and family members, something that does not involve bragging about their looks or clothes. The good news is that most people do not tend to critique the way others look, as they are often busy worrying about other issues. Taking selfies can be fun; however, we should not get so sucked into our appearances and forget other things that really matter.
By taking selfies, some people are only looking for the attention and the approval of others. On the other hand, if we learn to be less self-absorbed and draw our attention to things that matter more in life, we will not have to suffer from the dangerous, sometimes deadly phenomenon, known as selfie. You might be thinking you are enjoying a moment of fun, while in fact you are more likely putting yourself and others in danger. However, now as you are more aware of the possible dangers, you might need to consider ways of protecting yourselves against the dangerous consequences of sharing too much information online.
For a bigger look at the topic, here is an introduction to cyber safety!