Admit it. You were probably taking a selfie mere moments before opening this link, weren't you? In fact, I would bet you took a selfie as a celebratory effort for finding this link. Well, no need to worry. No judgment here. It is not like it would kill you...
Prepare to eat words in 3, 2, 1 -
According to a study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, selfies have been linked to approximately 259 deaths worldwide from October 2011 to November 2017.
According to the data found by scouring news reports released during the six-year period, only three selfie-related deaths occurred in 2011, a number which grew to 98 by 2016 before dropping only slightly to 93 in 2017. India tops the list of countries in which these deaths are most prevalent, with the United States coming in third after Russia. About 72% of victims are men under the age of 30. Statistically, women are generally prone to take selfies more often, but men are believed to be more likely to take the sort of risks that lead to these fatal incidents in the act.
For example, this selfie taken by a man to show himself and his "brave" group of friends at the edge of a cliff in India.
Speaking of cliffs, falling from high places is actually only the third most common cause of selfie-related deaths worldwide, a rank it shares with fires. The leading cause internationally is drowning, followed by a category listed as "transport," such as in this photo, also taken in India, in which a man tried to snap a selfie in front of a moving train (luckily for this man, he survived).
The authors of the study have strongly suggested the establishment of "no selfie zones," particularly in tourist areas including and not limited to mountain peaks, near bodies of water, and at the top of tall buildings. These designated selfie-free areas have already been enforced in several locations in India. Russia has also made an effort to fight the rise by releasing a pamphlet to educate people on the dangers of selfies, highlighting the most common areas they occur.
Not to sound like a cynic, but we felt that it would only be a matter of time before the harmful effects of this trend of self-obsession would finally surface. But, admittedly, we never foresaw that said harm would result in much more than psychological damage. With these fatal revelations now known to the public, we believe it is time to ask the question: will this finally kill the selfie?
With the implementation of photographic technology into our mobile devices, we have the ability to capture exciting moments anywhere and anytime. There is no reason not to take full advantage of that. But, perhaps the moment itself, without including yourself in its capturing, should be just enough. But if you must, maybe ask someone else to take the photo for you so you can keep your focus on your own safety.
However, if you ask us, the next time you are on top of the Empire State Building or at the edge of the Great Wall of China, the best way to capture these moments would be to cherish them in real time and apply them to your natural memory without any outside assistance. It might just save your life.
Do you agree? Do you think the selfie is a trend that has lived long enough to see itself become a villain, or are you about to take a trip to the highest building you can for a quick snap right now? Let us know in the comments below!
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