What do spaceman Buzz Aldrin, celebrity Ellen DeGeneres, and about a billion teenagers in the world have in common? Well, if you have followed the famous DeGeneres’ Oscar night, then you would definitely know that we are talking about the love for ‘selfies’! Officially announced as the ‘Word of the Year’ by the Oxford English Dictionary in November 2013, the selfie phenomenon has taken the photography world by storm with its crude yet easy way to capture memories. However, there might be a slim chance that our dear selfie will be banned, keeping in line with our recent trend of banning things we dislike.
Selfies might soon join beef in the list of things banned in the country owing to reasons like safety of the user. We agree that sometimes taking selfies can be dangerous as was proven by the unfortunate death by electrocution of a Romanian girl as she attempted to take ‘the ultimate selfie’ atop a train with her friend.
Such is the craze of the selfie that ask a person taking a selfie if they would like you to take their picture instead and they’ll be quick to say “No”! But what do you do when you are alone in space and feel like taking a picture with the beautiful blue Earth in the background? Well, you do what Mr. Aldrin did- take a selfie!
The selfie phenomenon isn’t restricted to just taking pictures of oneself; with wide angled front camera lens fast becoming the norm, smartphone users are now taking what the world is calling “groupies’, “wesies”, and “usies”! With more than one person in the picture, Lord knows how the picture taker is able to accommodate the background into the frame! But whatever it is, taking groupies with your friends or loved ones is what makes memories!
Clicking selfies can certainly be a fun process if you are with friends. But on the other hand, taking selfies in an irresponsible way, unaware of your surroundings may actually lead to chaos and sometimes, fatal consequences. That’s why the Nashik Kumbh Mela this year saw the authorities designate ‘No Selfie’ zones as they wanted to prevent any mishaps while pilgrims tried to archive their spiritual union with God while standing dangerously close to the ledge.
Well not only in India, but also several other countries have realized the menace of selfies and selfie sticks and the inconveniences caused by them. For instance, selfies are banned in Disney Theme Park, Beijing’s Palace Museum and Spain’s Bulls festival in Pamplona.
Another reason to ban the selfie is coming from research findings in the field of psychology that links the use of selfie taking behaviour with narcissism and even body dysmorphic disorder! Selfie lovers may argue that this does not hold true for EVERY selfie taker, so yes, banning the selfies based on only this argument seems a tad unfair for those who click selfies solely to capture memories or for fun, and not for validation.
BUT BUT BUT! We don’t think that this selfie ban will happen anytime soon as there are a lot of “shutter happy” ( the camera equivalent of “trigger happy”) people who won’t let this ban happen without a strong fight.
Since we live in a democracy and each one’s opinion matters, please tell us whether YOU think that the ‘selfie’ should be banned in India and why…