Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Definitive Selfie Etiquette Guide

The Approved Selfie... There is someone behind you. Is he aware he is in the photo? This is what is known to many, as a "Relfie"... a "Relationship-Selfie."
Selfies can be fun to take and share, however, as with anything involving a camera or photos, etiquette needs to be followed. The etiquette guidelines below will help you stay well-mannered and safe...
Hey you! Yes, you in the back left side of the ride... You are at Disneyland! Remember? Pass the phone to the friend next to you if you need a photo of yourself, while on the ride. Don't forget to ask with the word "please" and to be extra polite, offer to then return the favor if the person wants a photo too!

The "Wait... What?" Selfie: Are you so busy taking selfies, that you even know what is actually going on around you? Are you still able to enjoy yourself? Or did you kill the moment trying to "save the moment" in a cell phone photo? Think about it for a minute. Allow yourself some time to enjoy what you are doing.
Get approval before posting selfies with babies, or others, to social media sites.

The Approved Selfie: Ask for permission before you post a selfie with someone else's baby, child, etc... They may not want the photograph online and it is their right to decline permission.   
Super famous, B, C or D-list celebrity, it doesn't matter. Always ask permission before you take that selfie. Tori Spelling kindly obliged our favorite "selfie" model, out in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Celebrity Selfie: A celebrity in a recent interview mentioned that people do not politely approach her anymore. They just walk up with their cell phones in hand, stand close to her, and take a photo. Super famous or "D-list" celebrity, ask permission before you take that selfie. They may not want to be photographed and it is their right to decline.

"Selfie-Sticks" are great for group selfies, or "Groufies"
The Safe Selfie: Is that selfie worth endangering yourself for? Are you trying to get a selfie on top of a train perhaps? A moving train? Or is that "selfie-stick" not far enough back for you as you unwittingly creep closer to the edge of that cliff? Never put your life at risk for that “really cool” selfie. There have been numerous accounts online recently of people taking selfies in dangerous places that turned even more dangerous.
"Technically Incorrect: The contestants are gathered in Miami for Miss Universe. Israel and Lebanon are still at war. This is not the time for modern diplomacy. Can a selfie cause an international incident? Yes, it can.", Tech Culture

The Kind Selfie and The Controversial Selfie: Do not take photos with others conspicuously in the background, simply to poke fun at another person or shame them. I recall a young woman posting a photo on a group social media page she had taken with a man who was sound asleep with his mouth open on the subway. She posted a caption making fun of him snoring. I asked her why she thought it was funny to humiliate this man and to post a photo with her near him without his permission. She got defensive but took the photo down.  This also applies to photo bombing someone else's selfie. It is bad manners to photo bomb, unless you know the person very well, and know they wouldn't mind.

Sometime later, I witnessed teens using their cell phones to take selfies with others nearby and all the people had partially exposed rear ends. This was without their knowledge and the teens were immediately uploading them on line. It is one thing to post humorous photos of yourself, quite another to post them with someone else and without their consent.

The Miss Universe Controversy Groufie

"Clearly, we've all learned many lessons from Miss Universe over the years. How to answer inane questions with short elegant words, for example.

However, this time Miss Israel's alleged photobombing of a selfie including Miss Lebanon -- taken in Miami -- has caused uproar.

As NBC News reports, media in Lebanon weren't happy with this image. The two countries are still at war. And this was, well, Miss Universe, an event that is the barometer for all things political.

For her part, Miss Lebanon -- Saly Greige, who has a civil engineering degree -- was forced to turn to Facebook to disavow the image.

She wrote: 'Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me) ... I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media.'
Miss Israel -- Doron Matalon -- countered by turning to Instagram. She wrote of Greige's reaction: 'It doesn't surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you cannot put the hostility out of the game, only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country."' from                                               
The sweet selfie. No one is offended and your etiquette is just fine.
The Respectful Selfie: If you witness an accident, unless you are taking photos for evidence sake, do not take selfies in the name of seeing something fascinating to post later. The same goes for funerals, in hospitals and any other sensitive environment. Unless it serves a specific purpose that is helpful, refrain from taking selfies.

The Risqué Selfie: I have seen more than my share of people posting inappropriate selfies. As an individual, you are free to do certain things, but once you post it on the internet, it will remain there forever because people will copy, save, repost, create meme’s, etc... 

The riot... I was there drinking beer, bro!

The Self Destructive Selfie: Keep in mind that employers routinely look into people’s social media activity prior to hiring and are terminating employees for things they post that they feel may cast a negative light on the company. A flight attendant was fired a few years ago for taking selfies on an empty plane.

Kim Kardashian is Selfie-Obsessed: Are you selfie-obsessed? According to psychiatrist Dr David Veal: “Two out of three of all the patients who come to see me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take and post selfies on social media sites. Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help a patient to recognise the reasons for his or her compulsive behaviour and then to learn how to moderate it,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

The Over-Saturation Selfie: There is the saying “a little goes a long way” and it definitely applies to Kim Kardashian. While you are free to document every aspect of your life, do not think people are waiting by their computers for every update. If you like to share, pick a photo or two that tastefully summarizes the day, post them and move on.

Taking selfies can be a fun activity but let us use caution that taking selfies does not cause us to act selfish.

Compiled and submitted by Demita Usher of Social Graces and Savoir Faire
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the
Site Moderator for Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia