Get over yourself, the selfie cult is beyond tiresome

PUBLISHED: 11:21 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 07 October 2018

We get it, you climbed a mountain... now go enjoy your holiday, says Steven Downes (Picture: Getty)

We get it, you climbed a mountain... now go enjoy your holiday, says Steven Downes (Picture: Getty)

Natalia Moroz

Everyone seems to take selfies these days but, for Steven Downes, the holiday selfie, has got to stop, especialy when it gets extreme

Between 2011-17, 259 people worldwide died while taking extreme selfies.

I know it’s not the done thing to speak ill of the dead, but two things spring to mind: reaping and sowing.

An extreme selfie is likely to be extremely dangerous – therefore it’s extremely silly.

Circus fire eaters will disagree, but playing with fire produces a high burn risk.

Therefore, hanging by one arm from a frayed rope bridge above a Peruvian canyon while using the other arm to hold your phone and photograph yourself could be dangerous.

It could also be argued, though, that the extreme selfie victims are the heroes of the social media age – also known as the Social Me Period (2000-????).

They are martyrs to the pitiful cause of photographing oneself, relentlessly, pointlessly, brainlessly.

Can there be a greater moment in the digital realm than to have your last moment captured in a selfie?

The final image is taken as your foot slips, and you begin the 200m plunge from the top of a Tajikistani turbine to the rugged rocks below. Terror on your face, you are self-absorbed to the end, making sure to turn your face slightly to get the best selfie.

“It’s how he would’ve wanted to go – taking a picture of himself”, say the mourners at his funeral – in between photographing their own sad face and posting it online with an emoji of a broken heart and an angel.

Oh for goodness sake, get over yourself. The selfie cult is beyond tiresome.

The reason God didn’t give us arms like chimpanzees is because he didn’t want us to constantly photograph ourselves (and he wanted to leave room for Roger Hargreaves to invent Mr Tickle).

But we didn’t get the hint – which is why gurners, preeners and pouters are preeminent.

I was once shown hundreds of photos taken by my friend and his new wife on their honeymoon world trip.

“This is us in front of the Taj Mahal; here we are in front of Angkor Wat; us in front of the Sydney Opera House; us in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge; here we are in front of the Great Wall of China.”

It went on and on.

For once, I kept my opinions to myself, but I wanted to shout: “I can’t see the landmarks, you fools! You’ve been around the world and the only photos you have as souvenirs are of your faces. I know what you look like, so get out of the way.”

Selfies have their place, but too often they spoil the story, not tell it.

In our lives, we are only ever a part of the story; a character in the plot, not every character and every scene.

But too many people didn’t get the memo.

And so there are millions of people who visit something, but see nothing; countless holidaymakers who go somewhere, but see nothing; and numerous world travellers who go everywhere, but see nothing – except their own face, framed in the screen of their phone.

The toll of 259 deaths from dangerous selfies may sound high, but it’s a drop in the ocean (particularly if you take a selfie while leaning over a steep cliff) when compared to 
the billions of people using smartphones across the globe.

The real danger is not plunging to your eternal doom from a perilous place, it’s missing out.

The best way to get the picture is to get out of the picture – do you get the picture?


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