Selfie-related deaths are on the rise. So far in 2016, more than 30 people have died worldwide taking pictures of themselves with cell phones. Most of these deaths involve falls, motor vehicle accidents, electricity, and drowning. A few have been shot clowning around with guns as well.
Selfies are more deadly than sharks, and the risk coming from the desire to show off by posting a great selfie is far worse than any dangers from toothy ocean monsters. Sharks are responsible for less than five human deaths per year, according to Oceana. Comparatively, at least 30 people were killed worldwide taking selfies in 2015. That was twice as many as the year before in 2014.
Selfie-related deaths involving falls are often the most spectacularly devastating because people love to take selfies from high vantage points. Kim Jongyeob, a South Korean tourist, plummeted off a cliff at the Gocta waterfall in Peru, falling more than 1,600 feet to his death. German tourist Oliver Park, fell from a ledge while visiting Machu Picchu, falling 130 feet according to the Rolling Stone. He was reportedly leaping into the air trying to appear as if he were flying.
One reason selfies are more deadly than sharks is the tendency of humans to be creative. For example, one 17-year-old Russian girl managed to electrocute herself while balancing on a cable 28 feet off the ground, high above the city. She died but the picture was incredible according to Likes. Similarly, a 21-year-old man died of electrocution in Spain after climbing on top of a moving train.
Selfie related deaths often include firearms. Oscar Otero Aguilar, a Mexican gun enthusiast, died trying to take a photo of himself with a gun in 2014. Surprisingly, this firearms expert forgot his training and shot himself in the head. Anyone familiar with guns knows better than to aim a gun at themselves or others, but it was for a selfie to put on Facebook, so he broke the number one rule of handling firearms. Oscar isn’t the only one. Firearms-related selfies are common now and usually involve someone pointing a gun to their own head.
Many selfie-related deaths involve cars. Taking karaoke selfies while driving is just dangerous because that puts everyone in the car at risk. The same is true for drivers shooting photos or videos while driving.
Selfies are more deadly than sharks because sharks usually attack one person at a time. Selfies can kill numerous people at once. So far, selfies have taken seven victims at once as the presumed record.
Selfie related deaths can occur in numbers, even if the victims are not in cars. A Polish couple vacationing in Portugal were attempting to take a photo on the edge of a cliff and fell to their deaths together, according to Likes. Just this month a group of students in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, India, were taking selfies in the water but got caught up in a vortex. Most were saved, but two drowned. Another couple from India were swept away by a giant wave while taking a selfie. Likewise, seven people drowned in the Ganges river in June of this year because one boy fell in while taking a selfie. The rest jumped in to save him. All drowned.
The rise of selfie-related deaths is alarming, while shark-related deaths worldwide remain constant. Death by selfie is a growing trend. Not only is the one taking a selfie at risk, but those around them can also be put in peril. Everyone knows the rules of staying safe but selfies for some reason have proven to be an excuse to break those rules. People know not to point a gun at their heads, jump up and down on a tiny ledge, or take their eyes off the road, yet the desire for a great selfie seems to override common sense.
Selfies are more deadly than sharks because selfie-related deaths come from the powerful human desire to take risks in order to be noticed.
[Image via Tsuneomp/Shutterstock]