It’s Time to Stop the Selfie Game

(FILES)Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz (L) takes a selfie with US President Barack Obama after presenting his a jersey during a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 1, 2014. he controversy over a "selfie" photo of President Barack Obama and baseball star David Ortiz now is in the hands of attorneys, a White House official said on April 6, 2014. The White House last week warned Samsung against using the president's likeness for commercial gain, after Ortiz used one of its cell phones to snap a picture of himself and the US president. The picture showed a beaming Obama alongside Ortiz, holding a Red Sox jersey presented by the team. To the displeasure of the White House, Samsung retweeted the shot taken of the baseball slugger and the president, which went viral on the Internet. The White House -- which made its objections public a couple of days after Samsung's marketing stunt -- on Sunday said its attorneys were pursuing the matter. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad / FILESJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz took a selfie with US President Barack Obama.
AFP/Getty Images

Since bursting onto the scene in full force last year, selfies have become a complex issue with emotional impact, political scandal, and—sometimes—a hint of criminal negligence.

There have been vintage selfies of prominent figures, plane crash selfies, and the occasionally tasteless funeral selfies.

The sheer volume of selfies and news stories about selfies is a bit much. It’s bad enough that the trend has become the most self-indulgent and least meaningful form of photography there is, but now the opportunity to take “the greatest selfie of all time” is putting people in harm’s way.

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There are indications that daring selfies, the most absurd offshoot of all the selfie madness, have led to the deaths of at least two people, a teen girl in Russia and a 21-year-old man in Spain, and earned a third a swift kick to the face.

In case you haven’t already reached this conclusion on your own, this has to stop. Beyond the obvious point that taking a picture should never involve the risk of death, it seems like the people turning their cameras toward themselves don’t understand that nobody cares.

Your picture, daring or otherwise, will only be appreciated for a few minutes, at most. In a world where other, more interesting things are happening literally all the time, a picture of you does not warrant more than a few seconds of anyone’s attention. Not from your friends, not from your coworkers, and not even from your parents.

So stop. Stop taking pictures of yourself, stop wasting all of our time with a worthless piece of media, and stop believing that you are in some way more important than the millions of other things more deserving of your camera’s attention.

We may be in the year 2014, the oft-proclaimed “Year of the Selfie,” but it hasn’t even been five months, yet, and fatigue is already setting in. It’s time for the world to put the camera, phone, or tablet down, and turn the calendar on this nonsense.