A three-year-old’s accidental drowning while her parents were busy shooting a selfie is yet another loud wake-up call for us to give up this obsession. How many more people will have to lose their lives for us to realise that our existence does not revolve around the front camera of our smartphones? We as a civilization have made such a big deal out of a petty thing like clicking photographs, that it consumes our conscience all the times.
According to a report in The Times Of India, the child drowned in a lake at Althan Garden in Surat on Friday evening, where she had come with her family. As her parents strayed away, to click selfies in the garden, the girl went missing. The parents earlier alleged that their missing daughter had been kidnapped. Only when the child’s body was recovered from the lake on Saturday, did the events fall into place.
Selfies over safety- not a good idea
The obsession with selfies deserves concern rather than loathing. Nothing we can say is worse than the cost the parents of the girl have paid for a seemingly harmless act. Also, we know how easy it is to lose track of the kids. One minute they are clinging to your leg, begging you to buy them doughnuts, but the second you get distracted, they will get drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. We all know how many people forget their sense of time and place the minute they chance upon a selfie-worthy spot. It is more like a communal disease, affecting each one of us on different levels.
- A three-year-old girl drowned in a lake at Althan Garden, Surat, as her parents strayed away to click selfies.
- While the parents have learned the hazards of carefree selfie indulgence in the cruellest way possible, this incident should prompt us to think too.
- It’s a completely different thing to go on a clicking spree in a public restroom or restaurant without a care in the world and do the same at high-risk places like seashores and cliffs.
It is unfortunate that the parents had to learn how hazardous this selfie craze can be in such a disheartening way. This obsession to click a picture just to get more likes on social media is in itself an ominous trend. This is not a singular or isolated warning. We have come across mishaps where people have lost their lives in the process of clicking selfies. But more worrying than that is how unconcerned people are with time and place where they are clicking selfies.
Seashores, lakesides, cliffs and mountains – these are not pubs or washrooms, where you can go on a selfie clicking spree with a carefree attitude.
These are high-risk places, where losing footing, or as in this case, sight, of young wards will mostly lead to grievous consequences. We all want appreciation on social media, but this desire for likes has reduced outings with family, picnics, trips, etc to just an excuse to take more selfies. If this mania hampers our sense of proper conducts, humanity or blurs our calculation of how dangerous our surroundings can be, then it is time to step back and reconsider.
The government can put up warnings and impose fines to discourage people from taking selfies near steep falls, water bodies, roofs of high-rise buildings etc, but will it change anything? Judging by the kind of respect people have for civic laws in this country, we know such impositions will have no fruitful outcome. Unless the awareness and sense come from within, the state of things will not change.
If the death of a three-year-old girl, triggered by a selfie excursion doesn’t wake us up, and force us to consider how this selfie obsession could put us and our loved ones in harm’s way, then we don’t know what will.
Picture Credit: hindustantimes.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.