For those thankfully not infected by the “selfie bug” I would like to introduce them to the concept which is proving to be as infectious and fatal as any plague. “Selfies” are photographs taken by mobile phone by the person whose photograph it is. Usually they are made to look flattering and are intended to be shared by the photographer with his or her social circle. Social circles currently of course, are bounded by social networking sites, like the hugely popular Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other.
So far so good you might say. Just harmless sharing of pictures with family and friends, right? However, the practice of taking selfies is metamorphosing into a macabre and grim reality. With the abundance of information and about our family, immediate friends, and our friends in cyberspace so readily available, it is increasing easy to compare one’s life with other’s. The drive to appear more social, more popular and more interesting is leading people to pose for selfies in shockingly bizarre and dangerous ways.
Just some of the ways selfies have proved fatal last year alone due to people not paying attention to their surroundings include:
• Being electrocuted on top of a train
• Falling off a train
• Falling off a bridge
• Falling into a crater
• Shooting oneself with a gun
• Holding a live grenade
• Tipping the boat while standing to take a selfie
• Taking a selfie in the path of an oncoming train
• Falling from a high cliff
• Taking a selfie with a rattlesnake
• Taking a selfie with a bull and being gored to death
• Drowning in canal falling off a dam
• Falling off the parapet wall of a building
• Falling off a rock in zoo trying to get a close-up selfie with animal
• Drowned by a walrus in wildlife park
• Falling into a waterfall
• Falling while leaping into air for “flying selfie”
• Decapitation while putting head over door frame for selfie
• Swept away trying to capture giant wave in selfie
The price of taking a glamorous selfie could not be higher. Dozens of people have died while taking that last picture- one that was supposed to get them several “likes” on social media and gain them more popularity. This problem is not limited to a certain social class, location, or age. In the USA, more people were killed taking a selfie than the number killed by sharks. The highest number of selfie- related deaths was in India. A nature reserve in Croatia has warnings in place about taking selfies while also banning visitor from wearing sandals or open footwear, which has caused many to slip and fall into chasms and waterfalls while taking that elusive picture.
In addition to these your pictures contain information such as when and where it was taken. This information leaves you vulnerable to people with criminal intent.
It is time we stopped and thought about the seriousness of this matter. What price are we willing to pay for entertainment and popularity? The price of one’s life is surely too high.