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Age of the selfie: Endless need to share tears society's last shred of decency

The epidemic known as "the selfie" is destroying the last shreds of decency in our society. "Selfie" was Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year in 2013, and is defined as a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

The very fact that the word "selfie" is now in the dictionary — not to mention that it is word of the year — is a disgrace. Even worse is the speed and ferocity with which this terrible trend has consumed the lives of millions of people.

Since the creation of mega-social sites like Facebook and Twitter, the Internet has gradually transformed us to an exhibitionist and self-obsessed people, who feel the need to share every single aspect of their daily lives with the world. Girls post promiscuous pictures of themselves dressed in risque outfits, guys flex in the mirror half-naked, and many more reveal intimate aspects of their lives that could potentially endanger both their reputation and their physical well-being. The first thing selfie fanatics need to realize is that almost no one else in the world cares to see photos of them at all, let alone self-taken pixelated portraits taken with a smartphone camera. I know it's hard to believe, but really, we don't care if you just got out of the shower, or if you've been working out! By broadcasting racy images of yourself on all of your social networking accounts, not only are you annoying all of your friends, you are opening up your life to the rest of the world, which can be dangerous. Though you may think that that "special someone" is admiring the close-up of your lips that you just took, it may actually be some creep in his basement doing God knows what with all of your pictures. It is scary to think about how many people can see all of your photos on the Internet; do you really want the entire world to be able to see the innermost workings of your daily lives?

The danger of releasing these photos of yourself becomes more apparent on a daily basis. Social media sites now post the location and time your photos were taken, giving anyone — including predators — access to very personal information, like where you live and your daily routines. The consequences of posting selfies could be much greater than you ever imagined; someone could rob your home when they know you are out, or even find and kidnap you based on the location of that "harmless" photo you just took.

This issue of exhibitionism not only extends to selfies, but to the rest of our social networking lives as well.


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