Selfie Obsession

end of the selfie
End of the Selfie Obsession?

Is the end of the Selfie Obsession in sight?

Selfie obsession. People behaving badly with their obsession to get perfect pictures for their social media posts. Often with a complete disregard or any sensitivity for the environment they find themselves in. In turn, missing out on the magic of the “moment” and spoiling it for others. 

Magic Moments

Approximately 10 years ago writer & photographer Karthika Gupta’s five-year-old son was knocked down in Yellowstone National Park by tourists struggling to get a photo of themselves with the roaming bison in the background. So, were these tourists immersed in the wonderful spectacle unfolding in front of them and enjoying it collectively? Hell no! All the narcissists pushed to the front in search of their perfect selfie at the expense of all others present. I imagine the magic of the “moment” evaporated.

Perfect shot for social media

We see it everywhere, people jostling to get a perfect shot for their social media, in turn, ruining the “moment” for any “normal” folk through their lack of consideration for others.

The collective magic of the “moment” ruined by the rudeness of too many people trying to get the perfect selfie. The spectacular setting becoming nothing but a partial backdrop and compulsory hashtag.

Selfie Culture

Selfie culture isn’t new and neither is poor behaviour. Some behaviours are just down to cultural differences. A generalisation used to be that Brits queued and the French pushed in, Brits drunk too much and the Germans claimed all the sun beds by the pool!!! Haha, simpler, happier times. These days, unfortunately, selfie’s & poor behaviour go hand in hand and is across the board regardless of nationality. Selfie obsession eh?

Post Lockdown

Since the Covid Pandemic & subsequent lock downs, people are now travelling more than ever in an effort to make up for lost time. With the fear of missing out (aka FOMO) and over tourism really ramping up, the selfie culture (plus hashtags) has unfortunately increased since the pandemic. It really is not necessary to photograph every moment of your visit, particularly when every image features your face as the focal point. My advice is to enjoy what you are doing, experience the “moment”.


We’ve all seen the Selfie fanatics, either making the news for the wrong reasons or in the flesh. Those people who lose all perspective of their environment. People who act or dress inappropriately, exhibiting behaviour that is disrespectful to the place, people, situation etc.

Dressing inappropriately in a church, synagogue, mosque etc. Inappropriate posing at memorials. Risk taking for that extra special selfie, eg standing on cliff edges, next to moving trains etc.

Locals Objecting

Apparently, locals are objecting and who could blame them? People behaving badly has increased in recent years. So, the locals are voicing their concerns with authorities who are starting to take action.

Policymakers and governments are putting measures in place to restrict travel to certain bucket-list sites, limiting capacities or charging higher fees for visitors. Some are even taking direct action against elaborate photo shoots and selfie-takers.

Two years ago, New Zealand adopted an innovative approach to combating selfie culture when it urged visitors to stop taking influencer inspired photos at tourist hotspots and to share something new about their travels in the country instead.

Last May, the tourism hotspot of Hallstatt, Austria, erected a wooden fence at its most popular selfie spot to block the view of the Alps in protest against noise pollution and traffic. Unfortunately, following a backlash on social media, it was removed.

In Big Sur, California, the Sustainable Movements Initiative, which promotes responsible behaviour along the iconic Highway 1, isn’t anti-selfie, said Rob O’Keefe, CEO & president of See Monterey. However, their aim is to get visitors to go beyond the selfie.

The challenge with selfies is when getting the picture becomes more important than breathing in the actual experience,” said O’Keefe. He hopes people will stop to revel in the views and recognise that a picture will not do them justice.

Not Smelling The Roses

Not smelling the roses. When the importance of getting the perfect shot becomes more important than the actual experience. That is when you have really messed up and missed the point. 


In the 1990’s I remember that it was the camcorder that robbed people of the actual experience. For example, at the theme parks of Florida some obsessive visitors recorded everything on their camcorder. They experienced & viewed everything through a small flip out screen. Sick eh? These days, all events, big or small, are all experienced, viewed & captured for social media through the small screen on a mobile phone, on a scale unimaginable 30 years ago.

Street blocked off for Selfies

The Selfie obsession gets even worse. Selfie culture has ruined the cobblestone streets of Dumbo, Brooklyn, according to Allison Tick. Dumbo is the perfect example of how this phenomenon has gone too far. Allison Tick points out how one entire street in the neighbourhood is now blocked off for selfies. It’s not a place she can enjoy any longer, and she says it’s a shame. “First of all, I know this just shows my age, but even the word selfie, I hate. You’re just taking pictures of yourself“.

Selfies & Posies

If you want to take a picture, take a picture. But please, please, please, do yourself a favour and stop all the fakery, the posing and striving for the perfect selfie, attempting to make it all look candid and spontaneous.

Why, for a few reasons. You are not fooling anyone with your staged candid shots, you could be spoiling the magic of the “moment” for those around you and finally, you may be missing out on the magic of the “moment” yourself.

For more on Selfies & Posies, click here.