Warning about Selfies

It’s no secret that I like to go fishing and one thing fishermen like to do is take a photo of their catch. Recently I started an Instagram account called @GongFishing where some mates from Wollongong and I post our fishing photos. It reminds us of the fun we have when we go fishing and keeps us motivated to get out there and try to catch some more fish.

One of the tricks a fisherman uses when taking a photo of their fish is to hold it out so it is closer to the camera. The closer the fish is to the camera compared to you, the bigger it looks. Pretty simple really but it definitely works.

This week I saw an article with the headline ‘Plastic Surgeons Warn Against Selfies’. The title had me intrigued so I continued to read. It went on to say that selfies can distort the face and make the nose look bigger and according to statistics, requests for nose reshaping surgery have increased significantly since the start of the selfie phenomenon.

“Patients under age 40 take out their phones and tell me they don’t like how they look,” said Dr Boris Paskhover of Rutgers New Jearsey Medical School in Newark. “They literally show me a selfie of themselves and complain about their noses and I have to explain that I understand they’re not happy but what they are seeing is distorted” he said.

Similar to holding a fish closer to the camera to make it look bigger, when someone takes a selfie and their nose is closer to the camera it makes their nose and nostrils appear larger than they actually are.

Considering both of these scenarios we can assume that the closer you look at something, the more you analyse it, the closer it is to the lens, the spotlight or under a microscope, the larger it appears to you.  Just like with the warning from the plastic surgeons about selfies, there is a danger about not understanding the connection between perceived size and proximity.

You might have heard the saying that “the closer you are to a problem the bigger it seems.”   As challenges arise (and they will) it can help to step back from the issue and to see it for the size that it actually is.  Sometimes the closer you are to the problem the bigger it seems.

I trust, like me, you have had a good term and I look forward to seeing everyone back for the start of Term 2.  Enjoy the break.