The social media trend of selfies is not only popular, it is also deadly.
A selfie refers to a picture that is taken of oneself, most commonly using one of today’s smartphones. And the practice is more lethal than you would initially imagine.
So far this year, 12 people have died taking selfies. By comparison 8 people have died in shark attacks.
Turns out you have more to fear from taking a selfie than you do swimming in the ocean.
Most recently, 66 year old Japanese tourist Hideto Ueda died while trying to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal. Ueda fell down the Indian landmark’s stairs.
The deaths remind everyone that paying attention to a phone screen rather than one’s unfamiliar surroundings is an unsafe practice.
Four of this year’s selfie casualties were the result of falling. Another likely selfie death involved getting hit by a train.
Tourists are increasingly making headlines for their reckless selfie behavior. Parks have been closed after visitors have attempted to take selfies with bear. Bull runs have forbidden selfies. And Tour de France competitors are concerned about their own safety from selfie takers.
The trend does not appear to be slowing down any time soon, but some landmarks are taking action, as they have started to forbid selfies and “selfie sticks”, a pole that is used to assist in the selfie-taking process.
In July, the Russian Interior Ministry released a brochure that covered the dangers of selfies.
People who continue to take risky selfies are strongly encouraged to exercise caution when the selfies involve weapons, ledges, animals, vehicles, and electrical wiring.
Otherwise, the “likes” on that photo might be posthumous.