We’re truly living in a golden age, people. Now, the narcissistic desire to take a picture of yourself in a completely stupid or inappropriate place or time is a bigger killer than razor-toothed carnivores that can’t be seen below the water.
This isn’t to say that selfie deaths are a scourge on par with a zombie apocalypse – 12 people have died taking selfies in 2015. It’s just the principle of the thing. After all, Discovery still has Shark Week every year when we roll out the general fear and awe about sharks and they’ve only killed 8 people this year. So it’s not far fetched to hope that one day Selfie Week will be on TV and future audiences can marvel at all the ways dummies tried to photograph themselves while they were driving or standing at the edge of cliffs, or scratching their heads with loaded guns.
Four selfie deaths were the result of falling – people get on stairs or whatever, pay no attention to their surrounds because Facebook, move a little too far forward and bam, down you go. The latest was a Japanese tourist at the Taj Mahal, earlier this month. He joined a Russian student in July who fell off a bridge and a South African woman who fell from Northcliff Hill.
A 19 year old from Houston died after shooting himself during a selfie he posed for with a gun, because squeezing the camera button and squeezing the trigger are similar actions? Back in May, two people in Europe died trying to pose with trains and ended up grabbing live electrical wires. This is of course different than the three people in India who tried to pose with an oncoming train and were hit. Hard to say if that’s smarter or dumber than the two guys who posed with a hand grenade that they’d removed the pin from.
[[contentId: 2890947| alt: | style: width:80%]]
That’s 11 deaths if you’re counting, but Mashable, who first reported the selfie plague idea, assure us someone else died from falling and we’ll take their word for it because look how stupid the rest of these deaths are? This doesn’t even include the people who just barely survived, like the guy who took a selfie with a rattlesnake, and another Russian gun enthusiast who couldn’t operate a camera without pulling the trigger on a gun at the same time.
We’re conditioned to express sympathy for people when they experience something tragic like an accident or death, but at the same time we have this visceral “you gotta be kidding me” response when we find out it was the result of something completely ridiculous. And is anything stupider than this current trend? These people aren’t even trying to get pictures of an amazing thing or event, they’re taking pictures of themselves. Because for some reason the internet has convinced a mass quantity of easily influenced people that what they’re doing all the time is of the utmost importance and must be thoroughly documented with photographs constantly.
[[contentId: 2890948| alt: ]]
Do yourself a favor next time you’re driving along a cliff face with a gun in your hand. Let your buddy take the photos. Or, at the very least, take a selfie with a shark, because that’s probably very safe.