Why do people risk their lives – or the lives of others – for the perfect selfie?

first_imgShare Pinterest Share on Facebook While both animal deaths elicited widespread anger, humans have been more likely to put their own lives at risk in order to snap the perfect photograph. In 2015, Russian authorities even launched a campaign warning that “A cool selfie could cost you your life.”The reason? Police estimate nearly 100 Russians have died or suffered injuries from attempting to take “daredevil” selfies, or photos of themselves in dangerous situations. Examples include a woman wounded by a gunshot (she survived), two men blown up holding grenades (they did not), and people taking pics on top of moving trains.Heights have also resulted in selfie fatalities. A Polish tourist in Seville, Spain fell off a bridge and died attempting to take a selfie. And a Cessna pilot lost control of his plane – killing himself and his passengers – while trying to take a selfie in May of 2014.Putting oneself in harm’s way is not the only way our selfie obsession has resulted in death. One male teen – who allegedly suffering from body dysmorphic disorder – attempted suicide after spending hundreds of hours trying to take an “ideal” selfie.People who frequently post selfies are often targets for accusations of narcissism and tastelessness. But with social networking apps like Snapchat becoming more and more popular, selfies are only proliferating.So what’s going on here? What is it about the self-portrait that’s so resonant as a form of communication? And why, psychologically, might someone feel so compelled to snap the perfect selfie that they’d risk their life, or the lives of others (animals included)?While there are no definitive answers, as a psychologist I find these questions – and this unique 21st-century phenomomenon – worth exploring further.A brief history of the selfieRobert Cornelius, an early American photographer, has been credited with taking the first selfie: in 1839, Cornelius, using one of the earliest cameras, set up his camera and ran into the shot.The broader availability of point-and-shoot cameras in the 20th century led to more self-portraits, with many using the (still) popular method of snapping a photograph in front of a mirror.Selfie technology took a giant leap forward with the invention of the camera phone. Then, of course, there was the introduction of the selfie stick. For a brief moment the stick was celebrated: Time named it one of the 25 best inventions of 2014. But critics quickly dubbed it the Naricisstick and the sticks are now banned in many museums and parks, including Walt Disney Resort.Despite the criticism directed at selfies, their popularity is only growing.Conclusive numbers seem lacking, with estimates of daily selfie posts ranging from one million to as high as 93 million on Android devices alone.Whatever the true number, a Pew survey from 2014 suggests the selfie craze skews young. While 55 percent of millennials reported sharing a selfie on a social site, only 33 percent of the silent generation (those born between 1920 and 1945) even knew what a selfie was.A British report from this year also suggests younger women are more active participants in selfie-taking, spending up to five hours a week on self-portraits. The biggest reason for doing so? Looking good. But other reasons included making others jealous and making cheating partners regret their infidelities.According to one study, young women spend up to five hours per week taking selfies. (Katie Hughes)Confidence booster or instrument of narcissism?Some do see selfies as a positive development.Psychology professor Pamela Rutledge believes they celebrate “regular people.” And UCLA psychologist Andrea Letamendi believes that selfies “allow young adults to express their mood states and share important experiences.”Some have argued that selfies can boost confidence by showing others how “awesome” you are, and can preserve important memories.Still, there are plenty of negative associations with taking selfies. While selfies are sometimes lauded as a means for empowerment, one European study found that time spent looking at social media selfies is associated with negative body image thoughts among young women.Apart from injuries, fatalities and tastelessness, one big issue with selfies appears to be their function as either a cause or consequence of narcissism.Peter Gray, writing for Psychology Today, describes narcissism as “an inflated view of the self, coupled with a relative indifference to others.”Narcissists tend to overrate their talents and respond with anger to criticism. They are also more likely to bully and less likely to help others. According to Gray, surveys of college students show the trait is far more prevalent today than even as recently as 30 years ago.Hey – look at me! (Fab Magazine)Do selfies and narcissism correlate? Psychologist Gwendolyn Seidman suggests that there’s a link. She cites two studies that examined the prevalence of Facebook selfies in a sample of over 1,000 people.Men in the sample who posted a greater number of selfies were more likely to show evidence of narcissism. Among female respondents, the number of selfie posts was associated only with a subdimension of narcissism called “admiration demand,” defined as “feeling entitled to special status or privileges and feeling superior to others.”Bottom line: selfies and narcissism appear to be linked.How we stack up against othersSelfies seem to be this generation’s preferred mode of self-expression.Psychologists who study the self-concept have suggested that our self-image and how we project it is filtered through two criteria: believability (how credible are the claims I make about myself) and beneficiality (how attractive, talented and desirable are the claims I make about myself).In this sense, the selfie is the perfect medium: it’s an easy way to offer proof of an exciting life, extraordinary talent and ability, unique experiences, personal beauty and attractiveness.As a psychologist, I find it important not only to ask why people post selfies, but also to ask why anyone bothers looking at them.Evidence suggests that people simply like viewing faces. Selfies attract more attention and more comments than any other photos, and our friends and peers reinforce selfie-taking by doling out “likes” and other forms of approval on social media.One explanation for why people are so drawn to looking at selfies could be a psychological framework called social comparison theory.The theory’s originator, Leon Festinger, proposed that people have an innate drive to evaluate themselves in comparison with others. This is done to improve how we feel about ourselves (self-enhancement), evaluate ourselves (self-evaluation), prove we really are the way we think we are (self-verification) and become better than we are (self-improvement).It’s a list that suggests a range of motives that appear quite positive. But reality, unfortunately, is not so upbeat. Those most likely to post selfies appear to have lower self-esteem than those who don’t.In sum, selfies draw attention, which seems like a good thing. But so do car accidents.The approval that comes from “likes” and positive comments on social media is rewarding – particularly for the lonely, isolated or insecure.However, the evidence, on balance (combined with people and animals dying!), suggests there is little to celebrate about the craze.By Michael Weigold, Professor of Advertising, University of FloridaThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. LinkedIncenter_img Share on Twitter Email 2016 hasn’t been a great year for the selfie.In February, Argentinian tourists passed around a baby La Plata dolphin in order to take selfies with it. The endangered animal subsequently died from stress and heat exhaustion.Then, in early March, a swan died after a tourist dragged it from a lake in Macedonia – all for the sake of a selfie.last_img read more

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Poll: Americans favor getting antibiotics after anthrax attack

first_img Responses from those three areas generally followed the national results, but they differed on two questions. People from Washington and Trenton were less likely to be unfamiliar with the term “inhalation anthrax.” Also, respondents from all three areas were more likely than people nationwide to expect the event to be an isolated incident. The government offered prophylactic antibiotics to thousands of postal workers in Washington, New Jersey, and New York City after the anthrax attacks in 2001. More than 3,800 workers took the drugs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported at the time. In the national poll, conducted in December, 89% of respondents said they would probably follow recommendation to get antibiotics from a dispensing site after an anthrax attack. Ninety-one percent of parents who were polled said they would get the medications for their children. If an anthrax attack occurred, more than 80% of those polled said they would worry about getting seriously ill or dying. Close to two thirds of the respondents (64%) said they would expect an anthrax attack to be part of a series of attacks rather than an isolated incident. However, of the adults who said they would get the antibiotics, only 57% said they would start taking them right away; 39% said they would wait, in most cases until they knew if they had been exposed. The responses of parents getting the drugs for their children closely matched those of the adults generally. Nov 30, 2001, CIDRAP News story “Ciprofloxacin side effects ranged up to 19% in postal workers” Feb 19 Harvard press releasehttp://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2010-releases/poll-anthrax-delay-antibiotics.html Of more than 3,400 postal workers who took ciprofloxacin, 19% reported “severe” gastrointestinal side effects, and 14% reported fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness, the CDC said. “It’s concerning that some people will not take the antibiotics after picking them up at the dispensing site because such ‘wait and see’ behavior could put those who were exposed at greater risk for serious illness or even death in the event of this kind of anthrax attack,” said Gillian SteelFisher, a Harvard research scientist and director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program.center_img Feb 19, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – An overwhelming majority of Americans would probably follow public health advice to pick up antibiotics after an anthrax attack, but a sizable minority wouldn’t take them right away, according to a poll by the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll included 1,092 nationally representative respondents, plus about 500 people each from three areas that experienced the anthrax attacks in 2001: Washington, DC; Trenton, N.J.; and New York City. The survey also revealed that 21% of respondents were not at all familiar with the term “inhalation anthrax,” and that 25% wrongly believed that inhalation anthrax is contagious, according to the Harvard release. See also: Preventive antibiotic treatment could be life-saving for people exposed to anthrax, Harvard officials noted in a press release. Five people died and 17 more were sickened by anthrax spores sent through the mail in the fall of 2001. The poll results were released today, just as the FBI formally announced the end of its investigation of the attacks. Among those who said they were unlikely or only “somewhat likely” to go to an antibiotic-dispensing site, the most commonly cited concern, mentioned by 45%, was that officials would be unable to control crowds. Sixty-three percent of respondents voiced confidence in the government’s ability to deliver antibiotics quickly to everyone in their city or town, while 36% lacked that confidence.last_img read more

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JESSICA pulls rabbit out of hat

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Down but not in distress

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Bracknell’s long wait for retail makeover is almost over

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Airgas acquisitions strengthen operations

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Svitzer Sets Growth Goals

first_imgMaersk’s towage specialist Svitzer is planning to secure greater foothold in two strategic markets in Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) and Americas, the company said.Both regions are of smaller weight in Svitzer’s portfolio, but have substantial growth opportunities. The AMEA region today covers a huge geographical area from the Russia Pacific Coast to West Africa.“We have therefore decided, from October 1, to create two focused regions covering this area: MEA – covering Middle East and Africa including the Indian Subcontinent and Sri Lanka, and Asia – covering Bangladesh in the West to Japan in the East and Russia in the North to Indonesia in the South,” the company said in an announcement.” Our strategic objective is to accelerate growth outside Europe and Australia. The increased focus will bring us even closer to existing and new customers in Africa, Middle East and Asia and provide a platform for our safe, reliable and efficient towage solutions. We are looking forward to assisting port authorities and ship owners in reducing turn-around time and fuel consumption in relevant ports”, says Kasper Friis Nilaus, Chief Commercial Officer, Svitzer.The MEA region will be led by Torsten Holst Pedersen, whom for 3 years has led Svitzer’s AMEA region from the regional HQ in Dubai. The Asia Region will, form a regional HQ in Singapore, be led by Alan Bradley who comes from a role as CCO for Svitzer Australia where he has been responsible for the winning of significant Harbor and Terminal Towage Contracts, most notably Gorgon, Wheatstone and Oil Search.last_img read more

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SRA appoints former Linklaters partner as chief City adviser

first_imgThe Solicitors Regulation Authority has appointed a former magic circle lawyer to advise it on the regulation of City law firms. The SRA also announced today that six firms of various sizes will take part in its pilot of outcomes-focused regulation. Nick Eastwell, a former partner at Linklaters, will become the SRA’s chief adviser on City law firms from 1 November. Eastwell, who spent 29 years at Linklaters, including 21 as a partner, will advise the SRA’s executive and board, acting as a ‘bridgehead’ between the SRA and City firms. Eastwell will ‘provide additional quality assurance on the outcomes of SRA piloting work with the City’ and ‘general expertise’ on ‘helping the SRA to understand and work with non-City firms which use complex funding approaches’, the SRA said. Eastwell was previously Linklaters’ global head of capital markets and regional managing partner for emerging Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. SRA chair Charles Plant said: ‘It is essential that we at the SRA have a full understanding of the issues which arise in all sectors of the solicitors’ profession, and that there is mutual confidence between the profession and the regulator. ‘There was a perception among the largest commercial firms that we did not fully understand the nature of their work. We have now addressed that concern in a number of ways. ‘The missing link has been the recruitment of a prominent practitioner to offer special advice to our executive team and board, and to help further enhance the confidence of clients and firms that the SRA has the appropriate skills and approach.’ Eastwell said: ‘I am very excited about the prospect of working with the SRA with its new focus on the City and City law firms, particularly in the context of the new regulatory regime and the introduction of multidisciplinary practices and alternative business structures.’ As part of the SRA’s relationship management pilot, one ‘global’ firm; two national firms with different business models; a medium-sized commercial firm; a small firm undertaking a mix of commercial and private client work; and a sole practitioner will work with the SRA to test outcomes-focused regulation ahead of its launch in October 2011. Relationship manager Suchitra Hammond said: ‘We are delighted with the number and range of responses we have received so far from firms wanting to take part. We have now selected six firms to form the first wave of the pilot. During October and November we will select two further waves of firms to join the pilot.’last_img read more

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The government’s problem with whipping contractors into shape over payment times

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Trio joins Daseke board

first_imgWilliams is the ceo and a director of National HME, a provider of technology-enabled medical equipment solutions to the hospice industry; Serianni currently serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of non-hazardous waste management service provider Republic Services; and Warmbier is the executive vice president and chief human resources officer for technology company Sabre.“Ena, Chuck and Kim bring Daseke an exceptional base of proven leadership experience in areas critical to our growing company, including operations, transportation finance and human resources,” said Don Daseke, chairman and ceo. www.daseke.comlast_img read more

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