Awhile back I blogged about the “the selfie epidemic” – people risking their lives to snap a good pic. From falling off of cliffs to underwater shark attacks, it’s become clear that some people will do dumb things for the sake of social media.

Putting yourself in danger is one thing, but putting others in danger is another. Take this investigation of the Instagram accounts of pilots, for example. Not many of us have gotten to sit in the cockpit in our lives, and lately pilots have been snapping a lot of breathtaking photos that let us in on the experience. The only problem is, it’s against the law. Using an electronic device while flying an aircraft goes against American and European regulations (yes, even on auto-pilot).

It begs the question: do we go too far for the perfect social media post? Live-tweeting a breakup may be hilarious, but not for the couple whose relationship has just been splashed out to thousands. We never know what the personal and mental affects of that may be until it happens to us. How do we weigh being careless, reckless or mean-spirited, against the worth of a killer photo that wows our friends and social media networks?

There’s no doubt we are always thinking about how to up our game onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram – what’s going to get more likes, more followers and how to translate ROI out of it all. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that there’s a deep psychology to getting Facebook likes. So while we can say to ourselves, “It’s just a little thumbs up or two” that is truly not the case. Our brain receives gratification, acceptance and self-confidence through what we throw up on social media, and it can have an affect on the way we see others and ourselves.

I think it all comes down to a matter of a reflection. Perhaps we just need to be more aware of how we use social media and what exactly our intentions are. That absolutely does not mean we should look at social media only with weary eyes, but try to see both sides of the coin. Facebook and Twitter have definitely been used to hurt people and break their dignity, but it also has a way of uplifting and empowering too – just look at #RapedNotReported.

While I appreciate the art of a stunning Instagram photo, I think pilots should be more careful and the FAA should enforce their rules more strictly. We’ve seen what could happen during a selfie gone wrong. Just one mistake in the cockpit would be simply too many.