Volunteering is a worthwhile and life-changing experience that should not be taken lightly.

Volunteering for the camera is a self-absorbed activity that includes posting pictures for web notoriety and popularity.

When you volunteer, you are serving an organization or group of people who are in need.

This past-time is extremely rewarding for both the volunteer and the people who are affected by the volunteering.

If you are volunteering just to get attention or popularity, you are taking away the genuine nature of serving others and making it about yourself.

Some may say that volunteering for any reason is acceptable.

However, volunteering for the camera promotes a culture that values nothing but the individual.

Seeing people who are using volunteering as a gateway for comments or likes will do nothing but turn many people off of volunteering.

Volunteering and service are two important aspects of APSU campus life.

Junior history major Lauren Keller and junior English major Meagan Dagnan recently went on an APSU study abroad trip to Trinidad and Tobago to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity.

“Without volunteers, nonprofit organizations and those in place to help people have a better life would have a hard time running,” Keller said. “From volunteering with Habitat and in the past with the Well, I was able to forget my needs and wants and focus on the needs of other people.”

The trip was part of the President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP) run by Matthew Kenney, director of PELP.

“I was able to use my time to make a difference in another person’s life and that is a wonderful feeling,” Keller said.

This feeling makes the difference in the relationship between the volunteer and the person they are serving.

Someone merely volunteering for the camera will not gain this relationship and will do less good in the end.

“I do think volunteering and serving others is important,” Dagnan said. “Not only does it build character and help people who need help, but it also helps create leaders.”

Dagnan joined the trip with more than 20 other PELP students over the winter break.

“The best leaders are those who are willing to serve,” Dagnan said. “So if anyone wants to learn anything, they should serve, because service teaches humility and it teaches people how to love selflessly and unconditionally, and our world could use some more love like that, don’t you think?”

Ultimately, volunteering for the camera is selfish and empty because volunteering should be an act of love to produce worthwhile results.