Word of caution [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SHARE self-portraits on the Internet with care, warns Rozana Sani.
Doing a selfie (uploading a photograph that one has taken of oneself, usually with a smartphone and uploading it on the Internet) has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Social media and the mobile web have given rise to selfies, making selfie-ism a trend.
While it's not restricted to any specific age-group, CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab observes that the younger crowd seems to be more engrossed in the trend, mainly because teens and those aged 18-34 are heavier mobile device or smartphone users.
"As the social network becomes more and more an integral part of our lives, it is a form of expression, where people express their moods or feelings at a particular time and place. Or they are just being funny or crazy. Some people do it to get attention from as many people as possible and getting noticed on social media with likes and comments from friends is a quick and easy way to fish for compliments and boost one's ego," he says.
It also boosts self-esteem as many teens or college students who upload self-portraits do so to deal with their own self- consciousness.
"Another reason that selfies are on the rise is that it's human nature to show off one's achievements. When you feel good about yourself (or look good), it's far too easy to reach for your phone and document it all through one (or several) selfies. It's a good way to kill boredom," he says.
"Last but not least, social media is about being social! If that means uploading as many selfies as possible, then so be it. Some people don't need a reason to do it. They just like to do it. It's fun and it's a cool way to document your life."
However, Amirudin cautions that selfie photographs on social media can lead to cyber bullying, harassment and abuse.
"I consider this selfie trend a psychological matter, where someone seeks attention and likes to be complimented or liked by others. Most teens post photos in search of assurance and compliments, but they are also making themselves vulnerable to negative comments."
To avoid such negativity, Amirudin suggests a list of dos and don'ts.
"Everything is better in moderation. Show consideration for others and practise personal etiquette when taking self-portraits and uploading them on the Net. If you are inclined to show people every detail of your day, from a morning wake-up face to pretend sleeping, then it's obsessive. If you take immodest picture of yourself, you may attract unwanted intention and you may have online stalkers following your every post.
"If you post a selfie and your friends taunt you, that can be considered cyber bullying. But, if it is just the occasional gym photo that provides motivation for yourself and some friend, then it's OK," he says.
Refrain from posting nude or sexy photographs as not only does it reflect negatively on the person but it is insulting to others and to our beliefs, culture and country."
* Survey claims Britons take 35 million selfies every month.
* More than 50 per cent admit snapping themselves with their mobile phones and cameras.
* A quarter of those even admit to taking a sexy selfie, but 36 per cent later regret it.
* Facebook is the most popular place to upload the photographs.
* Three-quarters of young people aged between 18 and 24 admit taking selfies, the study by mobile phone company HTC found.
* But the trend isn't limited to the young. Twenty nine per cent of those aged over 65 also take selfies.
* The new craze, which involves posing by yourself before taking a picture, has risen in popularity, with over one million selfies taken every day.
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