The Rising Trend of the “Driver Selfie”
Friday, September 18th, 2015
The rapid rise in the popularity of social media is continuing to grow. In the UK alone there are 38 million active social media accounts, with the majority of us Brits spending around 2 hours and 13 minutes of our time every day checking to see who has liked our latest Instagram post or Facebook status.
Social media for most people is a huge part of their lives. Being constantly connected with our peers is now seen as a necessity due to the vast number of ways we can stay in the loop. WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest – the list goes on and on. Sharing every part of our lives with our social following is now a collective norm.
The social media giants Facebook and Twitter still reign supreme in the popularity ranks, however relative newcomers Snapchat are snapping at their heels, with more than 400 million snaps being sent every day according to recent statistics.
Access to smartphones has increased over the past few years as prices have become cheaper and internet access has improved significantly, and there are now 3.65 billion people who now have access to the internet via their phones. Social media sites now all have apps to download onto your phone, which makes the temptation to use them even greater.
The obvious benefits of social media are huge, the ease in which communicate in this digital age is fantastic. We all like to keep our family updated with how the kids are getting on, and staying in touch with our old university friends since we all went our separate ways is so easy. Is it really any wonder we all feel compelled to share pictures of everything from our pets doing something funny to our latest shopping purchases?
But for all its benefits, social media is now playing an integral role in distracting drivers, and increasing the number of road accidents across the globe. Although using a mobile phone whilst driving was made illegal in 2003 in the UK, statistics show that some of us are still blatantly flouting the law and putting other road users at risk.
In one update, photo sharing app Snapchat included a feature whereby with one simple swipe, users can access a screen function which displays to recipients how fast you were moving when the image was taken, leading many to take photos and videos of themselves whilst driving.
Snapchat do remind their users not to “snap and drive” when using the time stamp feature. But looking at Instagram you can see that there are currently 27,262 images uploaded with the hashtag #DrivingSelfie.
That is a lot of people endangering their lives – and the lives of others – in such a reckless way, just so they be a part of the latest trend. Many of these photos feature passengers who have children with them in the cars which is also exceptionally unsettling.
Whilst social media have bridged the gap in communication for people all over the world, every now and again it can spawn an unsavory trend that people feel the need to be a part of.
Not only does it land you a fine of £100 in the UK, as well as three points on your driving license, but it also puts yourselves and others at risk. Using the phone behind the wheel will make you four times more likely to crash, injure or kill yourself and other people. There isn’t a Facebook status important enough out there that’s worth the consequences.