“The will of complacency and abuse of those who were in a weak condition”, whether they were colleagues or patients. To the point of being able to kill. This, according to the judge for preliminary investigations of the Court of Ravenna, Rossella Materia, was Daniela Poggiali, a 42-year-old nurse arrested in October 2014 on a serious charge, for which she has been given a life sentence: murder with more than one aggravating circumstance committed against Rosa Calderoni, 78-year-old died at the hospital Umberto I in Lugo. What horrifies the most is not only her will to kill, but to make selfies with the corpse. An insult to human dignity in pain. Yet, it is not an isolated case, a fact that bears witness to a more and more obvious decadence of values.
In the United States, in Florida, in the county of Okaloosa, two paramedics, Kayla Dubois (24) and Christopher Wimmer (33) have been dismissed and arrested a few days ago because of their habit to organize competitions of selfies with patients in a coma, suffering, decrepit, in the emergency room and in the ward. A kind of competition to see who managed to take the weirdest picture. Hence, an old topless woman, and an unconscious man whose eyelids were held open by one of the competitors.
Back in times, people used to immortalize beautiful moments in their life, and photographs – printed – were handed down from one generation to another. Today, the globalized society, which makes everything faster and ready to use, changed also this attitude, dramatically increasing the instantaneous production of images and videos, but erasing their value, it has also eliminated memory.
Thus, the shot is no longer a way to crystallize something, but one of the many moments that follow one another in our routine; it becomes a game, a way to avoid boredom, a filler for the “void” time that no longer belongs to us, that needs to be filled and shared to snatch someone’s fleeting, momentary interest. To feel alive we must “appear”, and given that the flow of information is frighteningly high, we need to surprise, “yell”, and shock. Even at the cost of playing with life and death.
As in the case of Tatiana Kulikova, a Russian paramedic, (see the picture) who made selfies with unconscious patients in the ambulance. She enriched her photos with a middle finger. Then, she posted her photos on Facebook with highly professional comments such as “I hate my job.”
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), it is a mental disorder. The new disease has a name and the term is selfitis. According to Apa, those affected suffer from a compulsive obsessive desire to take photographs of themselves to put them online. The aim of this practice consists in compensating for the lack of self-esteem and filling voids in one’s intimacy. Borderline selfitis is the disease of those who take pictures of themselves at least three times a day, but then do not publish images on the Internet. Whereas acute selfitis is the diagnosis of those who take at least three photographs of themselves a day and put all of them online. Finally, the desperate cases are those of chronic selfite, which affects those who feel the uncontrollable urge to take selfies over the course of the entire day, posting their photos on the Internet more than six times a day.
When the object of selfie-mania becomes mockery of other people’s suffering, it means we are far beyond a disease. We are on the brink of a dark world where, in the general indifference that considers everything to be a “game,” we are falling.