The scurge of the selfie

Tonight as I left work, a bus crashed into a tree right in front of me. I called for an ambulance and several arrived within two minutes, and while I waited I went to find first aiders from my office and offered people sanctuary from the rain in my office.

Some builders rushed into the bus and helped pull some people to safety and comforted those trapped by the mangled metal. Some office workers assisted by helping people stem their flows of blood, and some people stood there and took pictures.

Even worse than people taking pictures, presumably to tweet or maybe just for posterity, was the fact that some people were taking selfies of themselves in front of the bus.

When the ambulance arrived and they began helping the injured, some positioned themselves to take selfies with the ambulance crew in shot.

I remember the times on the motorway when cars or buses slow when going past crashes and I’m as guilty as any for gazing curiously.

But what have smart phones done to us where rather than help people who are bleeding, we take pictures.

As a friend of mine said “some think that if they don’t take a picture of it, then it never happened.”

I wonder whether those taking pictures will sit around the dinner table this evening showing off their tokens of someone else’s horror? I wonder if those people would be as happy to be in a selfie if they were the one slumped on the pavement bleeding and awaiting medical assistance?

I have to say that the ambulance, police and fire staff who arrived and assisted did so promptly, professionally and with a calm compassion that exemplifies their three professions and it showed them at their best.

I was shaken and saddened to see so many helpless and in pain, and I was disgusted to see people revelling in the same thing for the sake of a photograph.

We need to review how we use our smart phones and instant access to the recording of memories.

Not everyone can, or should, be like the builders who ran onto a crashes bus to help people – but no one should stop to take photographs if they’re not in a position to help.


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