Picture from Selfies: Is There a Dark Side to Self-Promotion?
Posting a selfie is one way to let people know what you are up to but are you revealing more than you realize? Image ©Dollar Photo Club/Monkey Business

Selfies: Is There a Dark Side to Self-Promotion?

Social media sites are plastered with selfies, those ubiquitous self-portraits taken with hand-held digital cameras. But a group of seven women are under fire for taking a picture of themselves with a phone on a selfie stick in front of a burning New York City apartment building last week. Two Russian firefighters also lost their jobs after posing a selfie taken in front of burning shopping center where 17 people died.

However the selfie trend is on a roll with TIME naming Ellen DeGeneres Academy Award selfie as one of the top ten photos of 2014. The picture went viral with over 1 million tweets in the first hour and temporarily crashed Twitter.

So what is it behind the selfie craze?

According to Forbes’ contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, the phenomenon uncovers that human need to be noticed and appreciated. While it may not always be the most appropriate form of recognition, it actually can drive people to repeat the behavior when they are recognized.

But there can be negative consequences for those who post selfies, especially children and teens.

“Posing for a selfie can be quite appealing for many: however, most people are unaware of the possible dangers a selfie may lead to,” states NoBullying.com. Most people don’t realize the amount of information they are revealing about themselves in those self-portraits. So before posting your next selfie, the site encourages people to consider the dangers that can accompany this global craze.

A selfie reveals your location as well as activities you participate in and places you frequent.

A selfie gives out personal information about you as well as revealing others’ identities.

A selfie shows what you, your friends and family look like and can disclose other details about your family and home.

A selfie sends out the message that “you are not home.”

Taking selfies can become addictive, especially for people who suffer from body image disorders.