Opinion / From the Press

The selfie craze must be checked

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-25 07:46

To take a "masculine" selfie, a man in Wuhu, Anhui province, asked his friend to capture the moment when they stood between rail tracks and forced a train to stop. They did the same thing again stopping another train. But their actions have not only fetched them a five-day detention, but also raised serious questions on "conspicuous selfies", says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

Stopping two trains just to take selfies is a moral and legal offense, and the two men deserve strict punishment for that however innocent their intention was.

But also of utter importance is the reason that drove them to indulge in such act. Taking selfies has become a rage. People, especially the young, love taking selfies to send them to friends or post them online.

Selfie has become so popular that it was named the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2013. A selfie nowadays no longer means taking only a self-photograph, for more often than not it features a group. Most selfie lovers are more than willing to share their life in photographs with friends irrespective of how trivial their actions in the photographs are, from having dinner to shopping and traveling.

In the era of "we-media", anyone can post his/her daily routine in photographs on Internet social networks under certain supervision. But getting overly obsessed with others' attention or "likes" is beyond the purpose of sharing photographs with others.

Selfies reflect "conspicuous consumption", a concept first described by US economist Veblen Thorstein, who said luxury consumption was mostly motivated by sheer vanity. But such behavior should not undermine public security or disturb other people, because online postings are no longer just a personal matter in the Internet era.

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