Selfie Etiquette

93 Million selfies are taken each and every day. Love them or loathe them, nobody can deny that selfies are a staple in the digital diet of the modern age. What once seemed like a sure to fade fad, has been widely adopted by everyone from sports figures and celebrities, to the president of the United States.

Chances are if you have a cellphone you’ve taken one, and by one I mean twenty, as that’s usually how many it takes to get one good one. That one picture where everything is working, the lighting is perfect, your face is posed in just the right way.

So as much as the art of taking the perfect selfie is not easy, it get’s even more complicated when you consider the etiquette required to make sure you’re sending the right message.

• Before you take the picture consider where it might end up. Is it going on Facebook, instagram or is it a private picture?

• Check the background. We have all seen selfie fails plastered all over the internet, with inexplicable things taking place in the background, or even worse, someone’s deceased grandmother lying in her casket. • Funeral Selfies. Need I say more?

• Get permission. If you want to take a photo of yourself, that’s all good and well. However, if someone else is in it, make sure the other person is okay with it. Especially if it’s going to land up some place they might not like.

• Don’t succumb to bad taste for humor’s sake. If you are in a situation that you think is funny, stop and consider how it will appear to others. Never take a selfie in a public restroom where someone else may be in an embarrassing position or situation.

• Offer help, not a photo. If you witness an accident or someone getting injured, call for emergency help and stay with the person. Don’t whip out your cell phone and start snapping selfies as you assist. The only time you should take a picture of the situation is if it can be of some help later to show what happened. Never post the photos of a tragedy or accident on social media.

• Don’t take Selfies of your friends in exposed positions. By now we should all be aware that what we post online can be quite detrimental to your future. So posting pictures of your friend while he has had plenty to drink, might not be the best idea.

(See Blog Online Etiquette: Your Career Depends On It.)
8. A quick snapshot is okay but to spend 10 minutes trying to capture the perfect shot can just look plain pathetic. Snap the shot and move on.
9. And finally, perhaps take into account that selfies reflect a certain amount of vanity and generally it is encouraged that we express more humility in life. Vanity is not the most becoming character trait in anyone.

Selfies are ‘supposed’ to be fun way of expressing yourself. But it’s important to know that we control our images and the distribution of these images.

We all have photos we wish we never took, or photos we wished were never taken of us, so perhaps be a little more circumspect about what you’re sharing on social media and where you’re doing this.