Ben Carson snapped at selfie enthusiasts this week with a simple request, “please stop.”
The retired neurosurgeon and potential Republican presidential candidate took a swipe at the phenomenon in an essay for the Washington Post, wherein he decried the meteoric rise of the selfie and its equally loathsome cousin, the selfie stick.
“Beyond the obvious narcissism of endlessly photographing oneself and blasting it over social networks for others to admire, selfies are dangerous — to animals, sports spectators, artwork and the rest of us,” Carson wrote in his essay on Thursday, which was published as part of the paper’s feature on “Ten things to toss” this spring.
The paper reached out to Carson to submit an idea for the spring cleaning essay collection and he came up with the idea to shoot down selfies.
In his piece, Carson chided those who risk life and limb in an insatiable quest to capture photographic evidence of themselves whether it means standing in front of a dangerous animal, at the far tip of a steep cliff, or even in an aeroplane cockpit.
“Focus your camera on your surroundings, not on yourself!” Carson said to selfie addicts.
A spokesman for Carson said the potential candidate shies away from selfies because Carson fears the photo could become a form of idolatry. He added Carson finds it “really awkward” when people stop him to take a picture.
That said, Carson does indulge his selfie taking fans when he is on road, like he did this February with Theresa and Jeff Beck in Oklahoma City.
The Becks snapped a shot with the doctor at a February reception featuring Carson and said he “didn’t appear to have any issues with the request.”
Theresa Beck told Business Insider she was “actually surprised to hear he was so anti-selfie since he was very accommodating when we asked.”
“He said, ‘yeah, no problem.’ He didn’t hesitate for one second,” she remembered.
Beck, who runs the social media account for the couple’s business, Beck’s Garage in Oklahoma City, added that she disagrees with Carson’s assessment that selfies are narcissistic.
“It’s just telling your story.”
Business Insider asked Carson’s team if the potential candidate would take a selfie for this article.
His spokesman said Carson would “take it under advisement.”
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