Shahid Majeed Mir
Human beings transcended natural obstacles through application of knowledge to enhance their status. This orientation involved a steep contest between human capabilities and natural impediments. The enhancement of technological solutions put humanity on the quest of scientific spirit and rational enquiry. Initially, humankind evolved comforts necessary for its survival. Thereafter, an ideological orientation transcended to complexion and comfort. The scientific Revolution caused dramatic change in work and lifestyle. The innovative solutions for communication proved transformative. These overhauled the decade old communicative approaches and methods. The telephone and television means of communication opened new styles of dealing with others. The ideas, issues, comforts, life styles and so on, in one part of globe, transcended barriers to reach hitherto unreachable areas. The spur was amplified by Mobile Phone technology. Mobile Phones are handheld devices working as mini computers. They provide a number of services, above all, quick communication. The nip and tuck human Eye Xerox camera inserted in cell phones has a lot of appeal among youth fraternity.
The emergence of the Mobile Revolution with social media in place has intensified demand for selfies. Everyone, especially the generation is addicted to this practice. Selfie is a picture taken by oneself with a front camera. One need a simple unlock and a click of button for a pose. The efficiency of the camera through new versions has intensified demand for new products. Gone are the days when network signal and portability was the main feature to be looked for at consumers’ level. This feature has been accorded second grade status with a camera Mega pixels a main concern. Initially, the selfie habit was confined to oneself in the personal gallery. But, the arrival of social Media platforms have gas made the trend ubiquitous. They have intensified competition to such an extent that the camera rather than the basic functionality of cell phones is assigned place of prominence. Almost, the entire younger generation is involved in this habitual activity. In fact, the selfie norm has achieved success because of its simplicity of use. The adoption of the selfie norm by the youth fraternity is a moral as well as physical hazard for coming generations. Is this a manifestation of the Frankenstein’s Syndrome?
The bedrock of our society is deeply implicated in this activity. Tourist spots have evolved as the most favorable choices. The recent inauguration of Asia’s largest Botanical garden (Tulip Garden) and the subsequent media following seems incomplete without people with handsets taking selfies. They try to catch the background of enchanting beauty.
The advantages of selfie technique are awesome but disadvantages far outweigh these. The technique is simple and easy to use. There’s no need of a helping hand to take different poses. It amplifies the relationship bonds through quick connection and uploading on social media. As far as one reads the writing on the wall, the selfie Syndrome is growing day by day. But, no conscientious being can ratoinalize the horrific death of a tourist taking selfies in Mahabaleshwar. The serious episode at the world famous Chinese Glass bridge counters the said narrative. Similarly, the train accident of a young Student in our backdrop, near Nowgam station of Srinagar, is a clarion call. Narcissistic tendency put by social media platforms in selfie Addiction has evolved what can be called as the selfie Paradox.
Whenever the mobile Revolution and selfie Addiction comes to table of serious assessment, moral Hazard follows suit. Hence, the universal dictum of “Excess of everything is bad” becomes relevant here. The mental and social attitude of society needs a pause and rethinking to eke out a compassionate and fellow society, that is, a society run by individuals that cares for the security of their psyche and the care for dignity of others. Most endangered aspect or cause of concern is that of the youth’s proclivities.
Before one acts one should realize where one stands does. In our case, the base of society is being eroded of its morals and ethical attributes. The youth devote most of the time in the selfie process and subsequent editing then to their goals and self assessment. This ominous trend is a travesty. We as a society, and its Gen Next component, must inculcate and cultivate a sense of proportion and prudence in our temperament and outlook.
—The author hails from Misribehak, Machil, Kupwara. He can be reached at: [email protected]