The Ego In Its Natural Habitat -The Selfie Part 2

I decided to go deeper into the subject of the selfies, so this tech guy headed off on a little safari to see the selfie craze in its natural habitat. The big city is the best place to see what has become of this craze but which city, since there are so many to choose from? This question was answered by how much money I had in my wallet. So Seattle, Washington won this coin toss and it was well worth it. What I saw made me realize that maybe we need to include a class in school that teaches the proper etiquette of taking selfies, or maybe just in common-sense. But, before we get into what we can do to fix this craze, let me start by telling you of this amazing eye-opening safari I went on.

This adventure begins in a small town in the middle of the Washington State. (When reading this the voice you should be hearing in your head is Morgan Freeman, it just makes this story so much better when he is telling it.) OK, back to my adventure! On July 17th I set out on my trip to the big city not knowing that I would learn so much. My traveling companions were one of my clients, my brother, and his production crew. That’s right, I travel with an entourage that has mad skills. The travel time took around 4 hours to get us to our big city safari location. Once there we headed to a spot where I knew we would see the selfie in its natural habitat.

This place is called……PIKE PLACE MARKET!!

Now this is the place where you can see it all. As I walked through the market the first thing I saw were two young girls moving toward the middle of the street together. The behavior they were displaying meant they were about to take a selfie. Being very quiet, I watched as they stood in the middle of the street and then decided to both jump in the air simultaneously while taking their selfie (took 4 tries to get it right), not realizing there was a car coming. They did not care or notice that they were blocking traffic or could be putting themselves in danger. No worries, no one was harmed in the making of their selfie. As we moved deeper into Pike Place I felt that we were about to see something amazing.

I was right. This is where we finally encountered our first selfie stick… a majestic device that seems so harmless, but I found out it is far more dangerous than it looks. While wandering through Pike Place we spotted it. High above the crowd like a giraffe in the Serengeti, the selfie stick appeared. It was being handled by an older women not a teen (is no-one immune!). As she was walking through the busy market she bumped into 3 or 4 people without losing stride, holding her selfie stick high in the air like nothing else mattered. Not caring who she ran in too, determined to get that perfect selfie of her stroll through the market. Once she got her shot she actually whacked some poor unsuspecting soul with her stick as she was putting it away. There were many others participating in this activity causing the same destruction. Just by seeing these displays of the selfie in action is enough make you think maybe we should do something about this to keep innocent bystanders safe.

There were smaller selfie events during this safari as well: people blocking others so they could get that great shot, barging into others and never saying ‘Excuse me’ or ‘Sorry,’ no one stops anymore to ask another to take their picture. Whatever happened to manners and interacting with your fellow human being? As my adventure came to an end I realized that it is time for change.

Now I needed to analyze what data I had collected. Looking at what I saw we have a long way to go to making the selfie safer for everyone. The world is always looking for that 15 minutes of fame. As a whole we need to make sure that when trying to get that fame we do it with tact not rudeness. With movies, music videos, and social media encouraging us to capture every moment and share it with the world, this is becoming harder and harder.

This is the main reason this craze has become so dangerous. Media …. shut up for a moment and listen to what I’m going to tell you. If you are going to encourage us to share everything, please also take the time to educate everyone on how to do this with class.

Can we find a way to help educate this world and save us from the selfie? As I have said many times before, many of us know how to properly take a selfie with class. But there are young and old ones alike who need our help. I’m not saying we need to ban the selfie, merely that we we need to educate.

My idea is start teaching them young. In elementary, include a class when they hit say 4th grade, to teach them the proper etiquette on taking selfies and using online social media. That is where my research has led me.

What suggestion would you give to help fix our selfie craze?


5 thoughts on “The Ego In Its Natural Habitat -The Selfie Part 2”

  1. I think the selfie is only a fashion which will be replaced by another one sooner or later.

    I dare say that IMO of course the selfie-mania illustrates mass hysteria. Not that it should be forbidden, never!, nor that it is not worth being included in education when it takes such proportions — those of hysteria — that indeed as mentioned in this excellently-written-as-always article it dominates elementary politeness and even self-security…

    What an odd era. Anonymity leading to insults on social sites, mass hysteria with selfies but not only : how many are we to be psychologically and intellectually free of indoctrination be it those of fashion, of advertizement, relevant of those who follow whoever is in front when they are convinced the leader is followed by so many others? Have we noticed how often one is asked, not what he likes but what he believes others like? When music/video listings prefer to default to “Most viewed”, or “Recommended” than to alphabetical order?

    Young, I used to divide the world into two categories : the bad and the good. Later on and still now I imagined a 3rd category : the nuts. Maybe, older, I won’t simplify to the excess as I still do, mainly believing that wisdom is only being neither bad nor nuts. After all, how to define the bad and the stupid without being neither of the two?

    Whatever, I laughed a lot reading about this safari. delightful 🙂

    1. Jason Shuffield

      Ali Gator,
      I love your comments on this, you have made many great points. Maybe one day selfies will be replaced by something else, I shudder at the thought of what will replace it though!, but until then we need to help those nuts with this trend. If we don’t the stupid will eventually out-weigh the smart and our world will plummet into darkness.

  2. Great observations there Jason.
    One wonders why of course, but much like when you ask a dog why it’s licking its balls, he’ll reply “Because I can!”

  3. An enjoyable article.Jason.

    My grandfather was a keen photographer in England evendeveloped and printed his own ‘photographs, and as a child I saw his ‘selfies’ taken with a magnificent 1936 Zeiss Ikon bellows camera.
    No ‘Photoshop’ in those days, but he had many ‘tricks’, even a ‘selfie’ with two heads, so when I see people taking photographs of themselves today I smile inwardly and think, no ‘photo skills needed with a ‘phone-cam, (or cam-phone.)

  4. Effective July 1, just one month ago, Disney banned the use of selfie sticks citing safety concerns at all of its theme parks. Indeed, when visiting DisneyWorld a few weeks ago there were none to be seen and I didn’t even notice many arm’s length selfies being taken. Maybe everyone was just too hot and tired to hold up their phones.

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