independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Vicki Notaro: The stupidity of driving selfies

‘Selfie’ has been proclaimed 2013’s ‘word of the year’

There are many faux pas one can make on Instagram. Using too many hashtags screams of begging for followers. Double filtering your pictures until the subject looks like an alien. Making compliation posts of your #ootd (that’s “outfit of the day” for the uninitiated). Taking pictures of your cornflakes. However, perhaps the greatest Insta-error ever has been highlighted this week – the #drivingselfie. The hashtag has millions of hits on Instagram, and appears to show a further degeneration of our humanity.

Full disclosure - I’m a fan of the occasional selfie. I don’t approve of posting them on a daily basis, of constant duckface or posting the same photo with five different filters because you couldn’t decide which one made you look hotter. But on a day when you’re feeling fly and have perfected your eyeliner, or you have a new haircut to show to the world, there’s nothing wrong with posting an Instagram self-portrait.

Certain places lend themselves very well to a selfie session. Mirrored lifts for example, or in a taxi on the way out. However there are times that should be completely off limits, out of propriety and basic human decency. Nobody wants to see a toilet selfie, for example. Last week, funeral selfies were the hot topic, highlighting how low the human race can stoop when seeking “likes” and attention. This week’s hullaballoo may not be as shocking due to the lack of a corpse in the background, but snapping selfies while driving is so dangerous it could certainly result in one.

We all know texting while driving is idiotic, as is chatting on the phone. Messing with your mobile diverts attention to a huge degree, is completely illegal and up there with drink-driving as one of the most idiotic things we can do on the road. The advent of smartphones has meant that our technology is becoming more intelligent, but does that mean we have to become more stupid to even things out? Yes, we have the ability to share information like never before, and selfies have become ubiquitous. But putting yourself and others on the road at risk just to snap a pic behind the wheel? It takes vanity to a whole new level. Stick to backseat selfie-ing, for the good of all mankind. And if you’re ever tempted in the toilet, seek help immediately.

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