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Selfies Can Harm You, According To Researchers

Selfies Can Harm You, According To Researchers

It is no doubt that “selfies” have been taking over almost everybody’s lives on the internet. Selfies are flooding your Facebook and Twitter feed, becoming a nuisance to people’s daily lives. While these dreaded selfie-takers may think their little activity is harmless fun, little do they know they are actually harming themselves in many ways with each and every selfie they snap.

One may wonder how something so simple as taking a picture of yourself could cause any harm. Let’s start out with some of the obvious ways. In 2014, there were numerous reports of deaths caused by people taking selfies while doing something ridiculous. Here are just a few of them:

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  • In April 2014, a Russian amateur photographer (17 years old) climbed atop a railway bridge in Saint Petersburg. She ended up losing her balance and falling to her death after taking a selfie.
  • In May, 2014, the pilot of a Cessna 150K and his passenger were killed when the pilot was distracted taking selfies and lost control of the plane.
  • In August 2014, a Polish couple fell off a cliff in Portugal after crossing a safety barrier to take a selfie. They were survived by their two children who were present at the scene.

Due to what seemed like a fun picture idea to some people at the time, is now a haunting reminder to family and friends that were left behind.

With the year 2014 being proclaimed as “The Year of The Selfie”, you can only imagine how many other people have gotten themselves in to a bad situation for the sake of a silly photo, or in some cases not so silly – referring to selfies where the person has some sort of weapon or explosive involved. Yes, it has been done. There have been other reports on people posing for a selfie with a gun to their head, resulting in death, or severe injury (shocking, right?).

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Besides the psychological harm that can be caused to the families of the people killing themselves with selfies, there have also been studies shown that selfies have links to narcissism and self-objectification. While this is a relatively small issue, it is something that is being noticed more and more by professionals. Follow this link to learn more about the connection between narcissism and selfies.

More serious psychological disorders to selfie-taking individuals include Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (a chronic mental health condition in which the sufferer obsesses over perceived flaws with their body). To read more on this mental affliction, click here.

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An extreme example of OCD and BDD is (now 20 year old) Danny Bowman. In his quest of taking the perfect selfie, Danny dropped out of school, lost 28 pounds, and spent up to 10 hours a day taking over 200 selfies, just trying to capture the perfect one. After months of selfie-taking, and countless fights with his parents, Danny soon realized that he could not ever take the perfect selfie. He eventually tried to commit suicide.

While this is obviously an extreme case, the possibility of similar more milder cases is extremely high. People are spending less time interacting with others because they are so caught up in themselves. What starts out small could turn into something so big and out of control, like what happened to Danny Bowman.

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People are spending so much time taking glamour shots of themselves that they are letting this world slip right pass them. I, for one, will no longer stand by and watch the selfie take over. We have to stand up together, as Anti-Selfie Supporters and fight, not only for ourselves, but also for the people being plagued by the selfie. If we do not stand up for them, nobody else will.

#StopTheSelfie.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/kelseyannvere-339731/ via pixabay.com

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Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

More Tips About Building Positive Relationships

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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