How can seniors escape the world of high technology, is a question frequently asked by golden agers. Their complaint is that they seldom see anybody who is not connected to or talking on a smart phone and they need their peace. Swimming in a pool might be their last refuge from the wired world. The only way to escape social pressure might be when in a bubble of water. Today, our world is filled with the ringing and pinging of mobile telephones.
I know that my most creative thinking took place while I was swimming lengths in a pool. The bathing cap that we had to wear in those days effectively blocked out all the other sounds as I sliced through the refreshingly cool water.
Obsession with smart phones is not new but taking selfies is. For the seniors who do now know what a selfie is – it is a self portrait taken by oneself of oneself. This selfie phase may be a craze in more ways than one because some mental health professionals now claim that the people who photograph themselves obsessively, may be be suffering from a form of Body Dismorphic Disorder. They have a preoccupation with one or more personal flaws in their appearance and are excessively self conscious. As many as two thirds of patients with the above disorder are known to have taken multiple snapshots of themselves. It is not an addiction; rather a symptom of the above disorder that involves constantly checking their appearance. One expert said that people with B.D.D. can spend hours taking pictures of themselves that do not in fact show any flaws in their appearance.
Another expert stated that a preoccupation with selfies could be an indicator of other mental problems in young people. Dr. Pamela Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center in Boston, Massachusetts, said that this kind of photography triggers perceptions of self-indulgence or self-seeking social dependence that raises the damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t spectre of either narcissism or very low self esteem