Why The Selfie Craze Is Dangerous
The increasing craze to take selfies even in dangerous situations has created havoc all over the globe, to the extent that it can be termed madness. It worries many when they see their young ones deeply occupied with selfies, when they are at an outing with family or during a holiday. Unfortunately, it seems the worst is yet to come.
Selfie phones or selfie sticks have now become the new age symbol of self-addiction and absorption and in some cases, have turned into selfie stick deaths in some dangerous situations. Experts believe that selfie fever can isolate this generation and upcoming ones in the near future.
Taking a selfie may turn deadly
In some obsessive and extreme cases, people have taken selfie phenomenon so far as to end their lives as well. A recent case report has revealed that one British teenager tried to commit suicide after he was not able to get perfect pose and light while taking a selfie.
A British newspaper recently reported sometime early this month, that one teenager embraced death in Moscow while taking selfie at a dangerous position. The headline read “Killer Pose: Teenager plunges to his death from Europe’s tallest tower as he was trying to take a selfie,’”. A term has emerged in the internet world for selfies known as “killfies”, which are like weapons to self-destruct oneself while taking extreme self-portraits that result in death.
There has been a sharp rise in incidents of selfie deaths and serious injuries while taking selfies where the subject of a selfie and one or more were found dead or injured, either during the process or while trying to snap the shot, and the accident was more so due to trying to take a photo from a dangerous position.
There is a never-ending pursuit for getting the ultimate shot for sharing in social media has now reached a startling new height. A report says an adult man was found dead after he posed for a picture on the ledge of Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan citadel of Peru. So how far are people willing to go to take selfies, even risking their own lives.
Some recent reports showed increase in selfie deaths
The United States Department of Transportation revealed a report in 2014 , which is the so-called “death selfies year”, at least thirty thousand people were either killed or injured as they drove and simultaneously used the cell phone to take, upload, download, edit, or open selfies. Another survey in the year 2015 by Erie Insurance Group showed that almost 4% of drivers have taken selfies while they drove.
The Washington Post also published news in January 2016 that at least 27 selfie related deaths had taken place in India in 2015. Though there is no official data received for the number of people who have killed themselves during taking selfies in India, but in 2014 up to 2016, there have been instances of around fifty deaths by selfie, some reports have shown.
A new report, released in November has shown that serious incidents of death and injury involving deadly selfies are increasing and still people are addicted to this habit. It revealed that around 120 + people died worldwide and several others were seriously injured within a 30 -months span starting from March 2014 to September 2016 while they tried to take photos of themselves from dangerous, exotic and risky locations like mountain top, cliffs, while riding in a bike or car, or while travelling in sea or while doing underwater sports.
Worldwide research is done on selfie deaths and its causes
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, India conducted the study, “Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths.” The study said that “Clicking extreme selfie has really become a symbol of self expression and often crazy people show their adventurous part by uploading deadly selfies. This has proved to be dangerous.” It also said that the self-destructing trend was “so disastrous that during the year 2015 alone, there have been more deaths caused due to selfies than shark attacks all over the world.”
The data also showed an increase in the rate of death by selfie; it is estimated more than 70 people died while taking extreme photos of themselves during the first eight months of 2016, it increased from 40 in 2015 and 10+ in 2014. A maximum of 76 deaths is said to have taken place in India, while 8 fatal selfie accident occurred in United States of America.
Some of the most common kinds of “killfie” or last selfie were people who fall down from high rise buildings, cliffs, mountains, or other kinds of extreme heights. Taking of this type of selfie should be avoided at any cost. The second most deadly spot was found to be water, water-related photos also posed a dangerous scenario and around 24 incidents occurred claiming some precious lives. In one such incident of selfie stick deaths, 10 young people sailing on a boat in a lake in India attempted for a group selfie when the boat toppled and it killed seven of them. Some obsessive people stand on train tracks as they pose with firearms also contributed to dangerous selfies. Some particular vehicles, animals and electricity were also related to selfie deaths.
Statistics showed men are more prone to selfie related deaths than women, at least three out of every four deaths are men; though women capture more self-portraits and it also said mostly victims are teenagers less than 24 years of age.
Researchers have highlighted the significance of developing preventive measures for reducing future risks. Educational campaigns or policy programs can also be effective for helping people recognize their dangerous behavior, such as creating a no-selfie zone in risky areas. In the Indian city of Mumbai, some 16 zones in the city has been classified as selfie free, the report said. Some technologies such as location tagging, helps users to be warned before hand about the risky dangerous locations when people are attempting capture a hazardous or deadly photo and in some cases the smartphone’s selfie function may be temporarily disabled, as per the report.