Selfie: Impacting socio-cultural life and wildlife as well

The whole world has turned into a global village. Our life is now regulated by technology and technology only. The rise of social media platforms, laptops, smart phones, androids, Skype, SMS, WhatsApp, iPads, high powered digital cameras, spy cameras and satellite phones have revolutionized global media communication.

Selfie: Impacting socio-cultural life and wildlife as well

It has changed and reshaped and redefined our lives, our peers, colleagues and friends, our thoughts, our behavior, our dreams, our aspirations and our wild desires. Many people living in different parts of the world are now dislocated from the reality of life and have found refuge in the virtual world only. In this monumental chaos of countless Facebook likes, Instagram hits, incessant chats and tweets, instant selfies, trolling, pinning and hitting one another on social media platforms, obnoxious viral videos. our whole existence as humans are being put to question, as are we heading in the right direction.

No doubt that the rapid progress of electronics and robotics, information and communications technology, satellite technology, advanced weather stations, Global Positioning System, precision mapping, mobile towers, internet connectivity and telecommunication have made significant impacts across the planet in developed as well as developing and under developed countries.

The technology superpower has empowered humans representing all ethnicities, socio-economic and socio-political background around the globe towards faster and better communication. People unknown to each other are well connected through social media, smart phones, messaging and texting and through their WhatsApp as it has been never before.

Certainly this is a monumental achievement and a revolution with respect to global communication. It is no doubt that such technology and social media platforms are outstanding in connecting people and promoting salesmanship and building political faiths, in building public opinion, public consciousness as well as public education and awareness.

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Technology has changed the equation of relationship between two individuals permanently and it is here to stay. However, the million dollar question is whether we are moving forward or retracing our path backwards into unspeakable darkness, lies and deceits, cheating and fraudulent activities as well undesirable, unsolicited and unexpected detrimental self promotion.

Why is this turning into a problem?

One of these windows of so-called modern self expression or in other words detrimental and damaging self promotion is technically called selfies. The worldwide unimaginable obsession of people with selfies and the deadly passion for getting them at any cost, particularly among the youngsters is possibly pushing us all towards an extremely fragile and vulnerable world where our life is completely controlled and dictated by our fantasies. Often it has no true connection to our life and values other than unspeakable desire of self-promotion and in catering to the needs of our inner pride and ego fueled by the hidden ‘I’ inside us.

The selfie revolution around the planet has been counterproductive. Numerous accidental deaths and traumatic, life-threatening injuries have been reported across the globe associated with people obsessed in taking selfies at any cost. Most countries and administrations have been worried about this selfie obsession and how people are losing their lives for an uncontrollable desire of sales promotion for taking unique selfies that others could not compete with or even imagine.

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Ordinary citizens without any exposure to stunt training are participating in serious and extremely dangerous stunt video shootings or in taking unimaginable selfies at unimaginable places and under unexpected situations or incidents. This has resulted in high death rates across the globe irrespective of developing or developed nations in their life threatening and risky endeavor of taking rare selfies that can earn an individual or a group million likes or hits overnight once posted in social media or once it has gone viral.

The deadly fascination of some people for taking selfies with the wildlife in the background or in close contact has been one of the most detrimental causal factors in accidental deaths due to selfies. Many tourists while visiting biodiversity parks, nature reserves, national parks are sanctuaries are crossing the limit and moving too close to wildlife and attempting to take selfies with them.

A wild animal is a source of unimaginable force and strength. We as humans need to respect that natural or wild strength in wild animals; and appreciate the beauty of nature from a safe distance while capturing them for life on our cameras. Unfortunately, a group of tourists, over enthusiastic in capturing mater piece selfies that can earn them million likes overnight are ready to do anything to get one perfect selfie thereby putting his/her-self to great danger!

Serious consequences

Violent deaths of individuals trying to take selfie in close proximity of vulnerable wild life have been reported around the globe. On one hand this is extremely sad as the loss of a life of an individual is not just the death of that particular person; but, a serious blow to his or her family, friends and the society at large. But on the other hand no one has the right to break the space and privacy of a wild animal in their habitat too.

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One could blame the wildlife for initiating is causing a violent death or an injury of an individual who is enthusiastic about taking a selfie with it. But at the same time, the wild animal is just following its natural instinct to protect its own space, privacy, babies or female(s) from a wildlife selfie enthusiast; whom it may perceive as a threat or challenge or intruder.

Future directions

We have to learn to respect the strength as well as the need for peace and tranquility of an ecological habitat in which such wildlife and biodiversity tribes. If someone is so stupid to venture out of their course or out of their way to chase or terrorize or scare a helpless animal to take a selfie with it, then one has to admit that this is a recipe for an uncalled disaster! 

Several wildlife selfie enthusiasts around the globe have paid dearly with their life and/or life-threatening injuries or permanent disability through this. It is therefore my humble request to all wildlife enthusiasts to learn to respect the privacy of an individual wildlife and appreciate the beauty of nature from a safe distance. We need to take judicious decisions while respecting wildlife and their unexpected wild behaviors in their natural surroundings.

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