Selfie Obsession: The Death of a Dolphin

February 18, 2016

If there’s one issue that exemplifies the current narcissism of some humans around and about, it’s the perfectly edited selfie. Now, pictures are brilliant. They capture incredible moments, preserve memories and make people smile. But our obsession with the selfie has become more than just a harmless joke on a night out.

Now, on a huge number of Facebook pages, Twitter walls and travel blogs, these pictures are edited and posed to within an inch of their lives, making them less a snap capturing a wonderful moment and more an exercise in magazine-worthy ‘coolness’ – where the right angle for your face obscures the amazing scenery in the background.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m not as guilty of this as the next person. No-one wants to have a picture of themselves with twelve chins and sunburn to represent what was an incredible trip. But there’s a level at which this behaviour descends into selfishness, egoism, and blind self-importance.

And nothing reveals quite how callous this kind of selfie group-think can be, than the case of a gang of holidaymakers who physically dragged a young dolphin out of the ocean and onto a beach in Argentina, and quite literally selfied it to death.

Don’t believe me? Have a look here.

‘Pictures or it Didn’t Happen’

Photo credit : Sky News - A crowd gathers

Photo credit : Sky News – A crowd gathers

Hasn’t the self-obsession of us humans gone a bit too far now? It is, as a friend said, the equivalent of me forcibly holding my friend underwater and taking photos, while I float there alongside, clad in scuba gear and giving a thumbs up to the camera. At what point does removing an animal from its home – the only place it can survive without overheating to death – become ok as long as you get a picture to prove it?

Heaven forbid the man who pulled it from the waves would have to use his words when he got back home, and actually describe the life-changing moment he saw a rare creature in its natural habitat swim calmly away from him. No, he felt the need to pull it out and leer alongside it, because only a picture would do.

At what point do we say enough with the cameras, if not here? If we are, as a race, losing the ability to enjoy life as it happens without an endless stream of back-up evidence to seem ‘cool’ in the eyes of our peers, then what is the point?

What’s the point of travelling for experience if all we experience is ourselves? What’s the point of enjoying a night out if our only memories of it are of striking a pose for the camera? And what, in all honesty, is the point of any of us if we begin to believe that our own edited image is more important than the life of a sentient creature?

By all means let’s experience everything. Let’s travel, talk, dance, smile, laugh, sit, be quiet, be loud, have fun – or don’t. It’s all ok.

Live life, but for god’s sake know that there is a time to put the camera away. And to leave the goddamn dolphin alone.


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