In Lebanon, a man is killed by a car bomb while taking a selfie.
In India, three college students are killed while attempting to take a selfie in front of a moving train.
In Russia, two soldiers pose for a selfie with a live grenade. Both are killed.
In Spain, a man is bludgeoned by a stampeding bull while taking a selfie.
In Washington, a man shoots himself in the face, while taking a selfie.
Reports indicate that selfies have, in recent years, killed more people than sharks. In 2016 alone, there were 12 selfie deaths for every eight shark attacks leading to deaths. Since 2014, there have been approximately 49 deaths related to man’s tendency to abandon all caution while posing to take a picture of himself.
According to CBS News, the mortality rate has climbed so high in some regions, “anti-selfie” laws have been enacted to try to curb the frequency of such catastrophes. Many of the regions included are highly populated and tout major tourist attractions, like Mumbai, Pamplona, and the state of New York.
CBS contributor Faith Salie, an award-winning journalist and Harvard University graduate, indicates that the conundrum between taking selfies and accidental deaths could be a simple issue of vanity.
“We’re obsessed with proving that we HAD experiences, rather than appreciating them as they occur. We cannot admire a breathtaking mountain without inserting ourselves into the scenery.”
Salie goes on to suggest that human nature may actually be killing the human experience by its preoccupation with recording every moment. She cites an interview in which a doctor who specializes in memory claimed that humans may be outsourcing all of our memories to technology, choosing instead to rely on “a cloud” or database to document life experiences instead of remembering them on our own.
University College London neuroscientist James Kilner seems to agree with the notion that human vanity may power its obsession with “selfie-taking.” He asserts, however, that the need to see an image of ourselves in our own eyes is what stimulates that click of the camera, not necessarily a desire to prove we had a certain experience.
“For the first time we are able to take and retake pictures of ourselves until we can produce an image that comes closer to matching our perception of what we think we look like.”
According to his studies, the neuroscientist claims that humans have “an image of ourselves that tends to be younger and more attractive than we actually are,” which leads us to obsess over photos of ourselves in an effort to validate our own opinions of our physical appearance. This assertion lines up with the fact that people tend to “systematically” prefer images that have been digitally altered — even minutely — to make them appear more attractive.
Sources indicate that selfies are only becoming more and more popular, especially as photo quality and editing technologies improve.
Dr. Terri Apter of Cambridge University says that selfies are, for many people, “a kind of self-definition.” She adds that we all relish the idea of being able to control how others see us.
“We all like the idea of being sort of in control of our image and getting attention, being noticed, being part of the culture.”
Whatever the reason behind taking selfies, experts and analysts both agree that the act is becoming increasingly dangerous. Sources claim that many people can become so absorbed in catching the perfect ray of sunlight or retaking an image over and over again that they’ll ignore even the most primal hints of danger. As technology continues to evolve and the need to be desirable grows, humans must be careful to take the proper precautions when it comes to both selfies and safety.
[Featured Image by Don Arnold/Stringer/Getty Images]