01/04/2016 5:54 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Taken A Selfie Today? Chances Are You're A Psychopath

If you take selfies with animals -- be they dolphin "kisses", elephant rides or shark wrestles -- you've got a lot to learn. Clearly, people wanting these sorts of photos are narcissistic so they probably don't give a toss, but, in some cases, this lack of empathy can be lethal.

Andrea Izzotti via Getty Images
dolphin underwater on reef background looking at you

If you've snapped a selfie recently, you're probably an impulsive, narcissistic psychopath.

At least that's what a recent study conducted by Ohio State University has found. Apparently, people who take lots of selfies are more likely to display psychopathic traits and have a lack of empathy.

So what happens if you're the sort of dude who takes Tinder selfies with tiger cubs? Well, I guess that makes you not only vain, but (thanks to new research conducted by me), a pretty crap date, too.

Seriously though, if you do take selfies with animals -- be they dolphin "kisses", elephant rides, or shark wrestles -- you've got a lot to learn.

And I don't mean that in a 'look into yourself', Kumbaya campfire, existentialist way -- things aren't always about you. Jeez. I mean you've got a lot to learn about animals and respecting nature.

Captive, animal-related tours often top the list for being the cruelest types of holiday activities. Think about it -- in order for these animals to be still and have their picture taken, they are often starved and abused.

Clearly, people wanting these sorts of photos are narcissistic so they probably don't give a toss, but, in some cases, this lack of empathy can be lethal.

You probably heard the recent sad story about the rare baby dolphin who was pulled from the ocean in Argentina and handed around for photos with excited beach-goers. It later died from shock and dehydration.

Then there's the guy from Florida who wrestled a shark out of the water and dragged it up the beach. Not to save the shark, but to pop a selfie with it, and then toss it back into the ocean where it didn't resurface.

And these fatal photo ops aren't all one-way.

A holiday elephant ride in Thailand ended tragically when a father and daughter were violently thrown to the ground. The tour guide and the father were gored and trampled to death. The elephant's handler had dismounted to take a photo of the pair when the elephant "lost its temper".

What you probably haven't heard is that elephants used for entertainment and rides are routinely disciplined with a 'bull hook' -- a brutal iron spike that is driven into the elephant's sensitive skin. These normally social animals are "crushed" (yep, that's a thing), into submission. This method involves placing an elephant in a stall or cage and using ropes to prevent the elephant from moving any of its limbs. This, when done correctly, is supposed to "crush" the elephant's spirit -- hence the charming name.

Dolphins used in shows or 'swim with' programs don't have it much better. There are no reports of them killing people (except, of course, the highly publicised case of the orca scalping its trainer at SeaWorld). But in a chlorinated swimming pool, these intelligent animals regularly die of boredom, stress and anxiety. They can, quite simply, lose the will to live.

So if you're feeling a little lost for selfie-inspiration, instead of forcing an animal into the lens, try looking up the definition of 'self' in the dictionary. You'll find it means "a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others".

You could meditate on this question for a whole 15 minutes of every day and still not even come close to spending the same amount of time on it as we spend on Facebook.

By constantly popping selfies and sharing them with others, we become obsessed with recording fleeting moments, rather than enjoying them and actually living our lives.

And living on social media inevitably leads to getting worked up about things that don't really matter. Like the never-ending array of fads. Take the 'Duck Face Selfie' or Kendall Jenner's 'I'm Asleep' Selfie. Puh-lease, how can you be asleep and take a selfie? It's physically impossible.

Or the strange 'Public Bathroom Selfie', where people such as Kim Kardashian weirdly look in the mirror but also, kind of, don't.

And don't get me started on the wide range of 'Inappropriate Location Selfies'. Yeah, I'm looking at you Obama -- taking a selfie at Mandela's memorial service was totes #inappropes.

Then there's "Princess" Breanna Mitchell, the Alabama teenager who tweeted a smiling selfie at Auschwitz. Not just a selfie of her smiling; I'm talking about an actual smiley face emoji accompanying her big smiling face.

No, these people aren't actual murdering psychopaths. But they do need to take a long hard look in the mirror. Preferably without a mobile phone anywhere nearby.