When an 83-year-old Canadian tourist exited out of the wrong door at the Piacenza station near Milan in northern Italy, she was struck by a train and needed medical assistance. As she was being tended to by paramedics on the train tracks, a journalist named Giorgio A. Lambri captured an unlikely scene: a man posing in front of the scene, flashing a “V for Victory” sign with his hand, and taking a selfie.
Paramedics ordered the man to delete the photos. The incident may have gone on unnoticed, but thanks to Lambri, the photo started making the rounds on news outlets and social media. For many, the photo symbolized the decline of humanity thanks to advances in technology, reported the Telegraph. The photographer, Lambri, expressed his thoughts.
“I have seen many crimes and terrifying scenes, but I’m not ready to [see] this… The most terrible thing is that guy [doesn’t] understand absolutely the badness of his behaviour.”
Ironically, some have blasted Lambri for taking the photo of the incident, but he replied that it was just part of his job and that he wasn’t paid extra for the photo capturing the selfie moment, detailed Global News.
A paper said the incident was “a portrait of disheartening exhibitionism” while another said that this was indicative of the “cancer that corrodes the internet.” Others took it further, saying that humans are “galloping toward extinction.”
Antonella Boralevi from La Stampa took the discussion one step further and said that it wasn’t the man that’s bad, but the problem is that he had “turned off his soul and his personality” to become an “automaton of the internet,” according to SBS News.
The incident took place on May 26. However, there wasn’t much buzz about it until the photographer, Lambri, wrote an article for the paper called “The barbarism you don’t expect: the ‘selfie’ in front of a tragedy.” In it, he said that “we have completely lost a sense of ethics.”
And although many are shocked and angry over the man taking the selfie, police have concluded that the man did not violate any laws. The man’s name is unknown, and the victim’s name is being held for privacy reasons.
In recent years, as people become more embedded in their online presence, selfies have become increasingly popular. In the midst of this, many people have found themselves injured, while others are even killed as they seek to capture a perfect photo of themselves.