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Selfie obsession has gone too far

IT'S been around for a while now but I still don't fully accept the internet as a real thing.

I'm stuck in 2004, when it was a bit shameful to do online dating and those who met on the internet would invent a fake backstory. Now, internet dating is practically mandatory and it's my cringing that's shameful.

Mainly, though, I reject selfies. Surely, surely we've reached Peak Selfie by now?

It's not a modern phenomenon - Parmigianino was at it in 1525. If the goodfolk of the Renaissance had had ready access to easels and paint I'm sure there would have been a glut of self-portraits making walls groan the length of the kingdom.

A selfie, to someone who only just joined Twitter and who takes at least a month to adjust every time there's a Facebook update, is a wee bit embarrassing. It signifies you don't have anyone to take a photo of you. It says you don't have friends. You're alone. Now, I love being alone and I fully advocate solo dining, travelling and so on. But the great thing about ­exploring alone is the opportunity to meet new people. Asking someone to take a photo of you is the perfect ice-breaker. A great beauty of life is that there's always someone willing to take your photo. And yes, there's also always someone willing to run off with your camera but the risk is all part of the thrill.

Instead, you see tourists out and about taking photos of themselves with, say, the Duke of Wellington statue in the background or trying to landscape Edinburgh Castle behind their disproportionately large ­foregrounded face.

Last December the Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide took the first intergalactic selfie at the International Space Station. His backdrop was Earth, the sun, a spacesuit, a robotic arm and the blackness beyond. That's worthy of a selfie. Getting ready for a night out is not.

And it's these selfies that are the worst - the vanity selfie. Just this week, Childline blamed the cult of the selfie for fuelling body image issues in young people. I'm not convinced selfies are harmful - but they are extraordinarily cringe. Not to mention belfies and lelfies.

The World Cup is enabling ­offenders: footballers are selfie nuts and the BBC is calling for fans to send in selfies while watching matches. Enough.

The portmanteau police are ­issuing a warrant for my arrest as we speak, but what about ditching the selfie and instead taking a someonelsie?

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