by Vinod Kumar
Think this over. What is that one common sight that you come across with unfailing regularity around you these days? Yes, people clicking selfies! You got it right. It is extremely rare to come across someone of today’s generation not doing this selfie thing, either solo or with their gang.
Another question! What kinds of incidents are being widely reported in the print and other media nowadays regularly? The answer is not too hard to guess. Selfie accidents! It is clear that the obsession of clicking selfies is going too far and it is apparently a habit that threatens to blow up into a full-fledged mania.
FIXATED WITH LIKES, SHARES AND FORWARDS
If the tragedies associated with the selfie-clicking fixation were not so serious and real, it would have been amusing to observe the impact of the social media world on our youth. Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr are dominating the daily lives of people today. Getting likes for their clicks seems to be the topmost priority of smartphone welding generation and to get that they are willing to go to any extent and expose themselves to extreme risks.
Selfie-clicking is now a game of one-upmanship among the youth. There is a sense of peer pressure. Getting more likes and shares than their friends is the sole aim of this selfie-clicking generation. That’s why they don’t think twice before indulging in high risk acts to get that ‘perfect selfie’. They think nothing of getting self-clicked at great heights, at awkward angles, or even atop running trains, just to get that ‘wow’ factor incorporated into their clicks.
WHAT AILS THE YOUTH OF TODAY – AN ASIAN DOCTOR DECODES THE PROBLEM
Research shows that there is a steep increase in numbers of selfie clicking generation and their numbers are proliferating in geometric progression. A curious and interesting piece of selfie statistic is that India has seen more selfie accidents in recent years as compared to rest of the world. Apparently, our self-obsessed youth has set selfie clicking high on their list of priorities. There is some more bad news. This selfie-clicking narcissism is spreading to the older generation as well.
Top psychiatrists have tried to decode this new generation selfie-clicking obsession.
Dr. Minakshi Manchanda, Sr. Consultant, Department of Psychiatry at Asian Institute of Medical Sciences says, “Selfie culture is most popular among young people. It has become a status symbol. Psychologically, it is a statement of self-esteem, attention seeking and personal insecurity. It is like an addiction. Youngsters, especially teenagers are more inclined towards selfie postings on social platforms to get appreciation from others. This can also be explained as an effect of hormonal changes of the adolescent period.”
She further states, “Most of selfie casualties happened at exciting destinations as selfies taken with a breathtaking backdrop grab more attention from others. The more interesting is your selfie, the more likes and followers you win. This is the main motto of the selfie loving people. Mumbai is in the top rank in India to witness maximum selfie deaths and the main reason behind it is the fast city life.”
Everyone want their images and pictures to go viral which can happen only when they get more ‘likes’ and followers. The obsession is now becoming so severe that those who indulge in it are pushing it to ridiculous heights. This often results in reckless and even life-threatening behavior at times and strangely it does not seem to affect or embarrass the youth. Selfie deaths are on the rise and it is a clear sign how stupid people can get when they practice self-obsession.
How to overcome selfie obsession
So what is the solution? How can parents deal with this selfie-clicking ‘disease’? Dr. Minakshi Manchanda has a suggestion. “Parents need to extend emotional support to their children to augment their self-esteem and confidence. They should be well aware of the adversities of selfies at risky destinations like railway track, train etc.”
Psychiatrists opine that decreasing connect with real humans can be one of the reasons why today’s generation are obsessed with self. With means of forging human bonds diminishing and communication happening primarily through gadgets and devices, the youth have turned the focus on themselves.
Nuclear families, working parents and insulated neighborhoods are all factors that have contributed to the current mindset of the youth. There is an urgent need to unhook kids from social media or at least dilute their obsession for living life on their web. They must be weaned away from the virtual world and re-introduced into the real world.