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Selfies are a modern phenomenon, a natural outgrowth of the social media age. With just about everyone walking around with a cell phone now, it is easier than ever to take a picture of yourself wherever you may be and instantly post it online.  It’s one thing when that location is somewhere unique or interesting, a vacation spot for instance, but quite another when it is simply a visit to your local mall.

Oddly enough, shopping selfies seem to be a subset of the overall fad.   For some reason there is a fascination with taking your picture at the shopping mall and posting it for the world to see.  It’s become so recognized that a store recently opened in the country’s largest shopping center, The Mall of America, where they combine your selfie with the wonders of 3D printing to make a selfie figurine.

Of course, not everyone is interested in making action figures of themselves, but it still begs the question of why anyone snaps photos of themselves shopping in the first place.  What do those stores and shopping bags add to your photos?  Selfies are a pretty strong example of narcissism to begin with, but now it seems like people are not only saying “look at me” but “look at me, I have money to spend”.  It’s as if they are dialing the narcissism up to another level.

Aside from the obvious question about how someone could be so self absorbed, there is a very real danger associated with posting this particular type of selfie.  What most people don’t realize is that every time you post a selfie you are not just showing the world what you look like, you’re also revealing things about yourself that you may not have intended or haven’t even thought about.

The obvious revelation of a shopping mall selfie is that you are giving away your exact location.  Someone could use those photos to track you down or robbers could take notice of the fact that you aren’t home and target your house for theft.  You’re also giving away hints about how you look and what you wear that could help identity thieves steal your identity.

If you include other people in your selfies, you’re putting them at risk too.  You should never post a selfie with someone else in it unless you’ve first asked their permission.  You may not mind having your image out there in the public eye, but they might.  It’s common courtesy to be sure that they are okay with this.  

While it may seem like harmless fun, taking shopping mall selfies could actually put you and others in danger.  If you have such a need to show off your material wealth and your consumerism, then perhaps you don’t have your priorities straight.  The next time you take out that cell phone in the mall, think twice before snapping that photo and consider the message you’re really sending.

Shopping Mall Selfies: Really?

AUGUST 1, 2016

Color photo of well-dressed blonde woman standing in front of shopping mall windows holding several bags on her arms while holding up a cell phone in her right hand, smiling and taking a photo of herself.

While it may seem like harmless fun, taking shopping mall selfies could actually put you and others in danger.


Image: 123RF

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