Social Media Sites Lash Out At Disaster Selfies In New York

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 3.07.25 PM.JPGWe have previously discussed how the social media craze of posting selfies seem to leave any room for . . . well . . . decency. The latest controversy concerns the East Village gas explosion that injured 25 people and collapsed three building — causing extensive physical and property injuries. While emergency personnel were still digging through rubble to try to find survivors, people started to show up to take selfies.

Two people — Nicholas Figueroa, 23, of Harlem, and Moises Locon, 27, of Elmhurst, Queens — were still missing as the selfies were being posted. This image appears one of the last of Figueroa. Figueroa was on a date with Theresa Galarza, 22, at the Sushi Park restaurant on the ground floor and was going to pay the check when he disappeared with the blast.

Others on social media have been criticizing individuals like Christina Freundlich (above), who is reportedly a communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party. She posted a grinning photo of herself at the scene giving the peace sign. I confess that much about modern life (I prefer the 18th Century) confuses me, but what is the point of celebration in front of a tragic site of a disaster?

29.P1.Idiots.c.ta.jpgTwo selfie figures responded to critics. Jeanie Slade took this picture with a friend with hashtags “#beingtourists and “#weresocreepy.” She later insisted that it was “satire” and added “My heart goes out to the people of New York, and this satire post was in poor taste. My intention was to point out how many people post selfies in inappropriate times and it backfired.”

It sure did.

41 thoughts on “Social Media Sites Lash Out At Disaster Selfies In New York”

  1. Nick, Pogo, Jim

    OK, truce. I used to walk down the street and consider the people I passed as part of the same experience. Almost always if there was eye contact there was an acknowledgement of a nod and sometimes a good day. I used to enjoy having ‘lunch’ with friends, someplace special, until the cellphone calls left me there waiting to finish a thought. The thought eventually was either no cell phone or no lunch. Good friends turned them off. Others, I rarely see anymore.

    Regarding photos, yes, no magic anymore, no talent, no need. Years ago, one of my prize possessions was a Minolta C220 4X4 without a light meter. A friend had a Hassleblad to my envy. We have walls here and there covered in photos going back generations.

    OK, back at it.

  2. I’m outraged at the mass violence and thought control our nation-state initiates in its several forms and I’m a bully.

    A couple of individuals take some sleazy pictures, in terms of timing and taste, and lets call them idiots, arrogant, etc.

    This is why one should always try and be youthful. That’s twisted logic.

  3. Isaac, I knew if I went long enough, we would agree on something. No it is not just you. The thing this generation will never understand is that photo’s used to take effort and they were full of disappointment as well as surprise. Who here remembers getting that packet of photo’s back and forgetting what half the roll of film had on it.

    Another side effect of the digital age that I have noted is framing photo’s. Have you noticed how people seem to have less and less framed photo’s in their house? I commented to my wife recently that all of our framed photo’s are over ten years old.

  4. “There is something almost rude …Is it just me?

    It is rude, somewhat.
    Cell phones have allowed us to be connected to our friends and families in ways never before possible.
    But it disconnects us from our immediate surrounding and prevents us from meeting others (which is often its purpose).

    And as here, it permits a degradation of civility and loss of empathy.

  5. Isaac, No, it is not just you. But, it is most definitely a generational thing.

  6. If anyone knows of a study done specifically to address any differences in human behavior from a time when a person, alone, was pretty much alone with thoughts and the world immediately around to lately where one is ‘wired’ into: others, games, media, music, etc. or pretty much anything but being alone with oneself, please post it.

    I grew up where it was primarily myself, the trees, clouds, etc and myself, when I was not directly with others: school, sports, family, etc.

    There is something almost rude in someone walking down the same street as I, carrying on a conversation with someone who is not there. Is it just me?

    1. Issac

      Yes — there is something rude about the conversant aspect of being in love with the self exclusively. I am sure our culture could encompass self marriage because of the taxes received before they could gay marriage. People in America are profoundly narcissistic.

  7. I see many selfie sticks on the boardwalk. Narcissistic youth walking and riding on the boardwalk, videotaping their fascinating sojourn. Our future is not as bright as this optimist would hope.

  8. The couple and Iowa-based communications director were tourists, right?

    I don’t put New Yorkers above that kind of behavior, but it’s more likely locals will feel the gravity of the situation and not make light of it compared to tourists just passing through.

  9. My experience as a first responder is that tragedy/disasters bring out the best and the worst in people.

  10. “Selfie”. The word gets a lot of use lately. It combines selfishness with the taking of a photo of oneself by oneself. Maybe the name needs to be used to denote all people under fifty. When I was a human in a prior life back in the 70’s we used to say: Never trust one over 30. Now it is never trust one under 50. Boomers need to go to the lawyers offices and re-write their wills and cut the melliniels out of their estates. I cant spul “mellineal”. I just know it when I see it. Like in the photos above.

    Selfie, Selfie bo belfie…
    Banana nana fo delfie…
    fee fi mo melfie…

    If the first two letters are ever the same…
    Ya drop them both and say the name…
    Like Bob, Fob friggin Junk Yard Bob or
    Mary, Mary, life is contrary..
    That’s the only rule which works on Harry.

  11. These are the same grinning faces that you can see in early photographs of lynchings. If there were cameras during the French Revolution they would be there next to the guillotine.

    The way to deal with this is to augment this mindless narcissism and enhance the experience for them. The news medias should reproduce the photos on the evening news in a parody of sorts. “Jeanie Slade, is pictured here while on vacation in New York City. She took time out from a busy day of shopping and bar hopping to include her smiling face in front of a tragedy that cost the lives of two people. They could not be in the photo as they were burned beyond recognition. Jeanie is quoted as saying that she tried for a more revealing angle but this was the best she could do. We could not continue our conversation as she heard about a pedestrian being killed by a taxi and was on her way to get in another ‘selfie’ before hitting the bars again.”

  12. I love your line about how much of modern life confuses you, with your expressed preference for the 18th century.

  13. Narcissistic America Reality TV Alice in Wonderland That’s what she looks like. All she needs is the White Rabbit

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