What better way to show your friends on the social media that you are doing your bit for positive change by taking a selfie at a demonstration demanding reform and the fall of a corrupt government?
However, some ‘experts’ believe that the lack of appreciation from the online friends or followers of these posers could “threaten the development” of a country like Thailand and bruise the fragile egos of the youth.
One can’t help but feel that the people who subscribe to this notion are not giving enough credit to these charged youngsters.
Thousands have taken to the streets in the country on various occasions to demand the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and “reform before elections” - some of them stopping to take a picture of themselves along the way.
Government psychiatrist Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn explains that the youth of the nation who post selfies over the social media and do not receive positive feedback will be exposed to “emotional problems”.
“If they feel they don’t get enough Likes for their selfie as expected, they decide to post another, but still do not receive a good response,” she said in a statement, according to the Bangkok Post. “This could affect their thoughts. They can lose self-confidence and have a negative attitude toward themselves, such as feeling dissatisfied with themselves or their body.”
Wipulakorn believes the underwhelming response is causing the Thai youth become misbalanced and this could spell troubled times ahead.
“This could affect the development of the country in the future as the number of new-generation leaders will fall short. It will hinder the country’s creativity and innovation.”
Others such as Pakkarat Phattanathanya, a producer with SpokeDark TV, told TIME that such people are known as ‘Instagram protesters’.
“They turn up and take photos of themselves, but when we interview them many don’t know what the protest is about.”
To say that the smartphone wielding generation of Thailand is selfie obsessed would be an understatement. After all, in 2013, the Siam Paragom shopping mall in Bangkok was the one place on the planet where the highest number of such photographs was taken, while the airport of the capital took the crown of the most instagrammed location worldwide in 2012.
Appreciation is something that today’s youth does indeed strive for, but the demonstrators in Thailand, out in their hordes, are not all ‘Instagram protesters’. Just because some of them pause to snap a quick selfie does not make them starved for attention or susceptible to emotional problems.
Also, one can’t help but notice that the expert who raises this point is a psychiatrist from the Thai government, which would like nothing more than to see pictures from the massive demonstrations disappear from the internet.
Here are some of our picks from the countless selfies