Deaths by selfie? The selfie photo is not a new trend, but few expect them to be life threatening. Yet for those keeping score, the ubiquitous self-portrait documenting your whereabouts to the social media world has claimed more lives this year than a shark’s rows of serrated teeth.
Writes AOL.com on Sept. 22: “A 66-year-old Japanese tourist died earlier this week when he fell while trying to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal. His death raises the grand total to 12 selfie deaths just in this past year. Compare that to the eight deaths by shark attack in 2015 and you have a 21st-century problem on your hands.”
“The man’s death raises the selfie-related death toll this year — to 12,” wrote Mashable’s Cailey Rizzo. “To put that in perspective, in 2015 there have so far been eight deaths caused by shark attacks. It sounds like a joke, but unfortunately it isn’t: The deaths are a tragic reminder to travelers that focusing on a phone screen instead of unfamiliar surroundings is not safe.”
Too often, a selfie is all about just how far one can push the boundaries of safety to get a viral pic. Stepping too close to the edge, wandering far to near a wild animal – all in an effort to get that perfect framed shot.
“So now’s as good a time as any to offer this friendly reminder: don’t do it if the risk outweighs the joyous feeling of seeing those likes go up and up. OK,” said Lindsey Caldwell of E! News.
Although not counted among the 12 reported selfie deaths, in June, a selfie taken and posted by an ISIS terrorist proved true the idiom – a picture is worth a thousand words, or one U.S. Air Force JDAM guided bomb. The moronic jihadist failed to grasp rule number one about being a terrorist: Don’t tell the infidels where our secret lair is. A day after posting the pic, the compound was destroyed by a guided missile strike.
In September, a 19-year-old Texas man shot himself while taking a selfie with a loaded gun. According to investigators, the man reportedly “found” the weapon and decided to take a series of selfies with the firearm aimed at his head and neck. The gun fired, hitting the man in his throat. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A tourist at Yellowstone park discovered in July that bison are not fans of selfies. A 43-year-old woman, standing about five yards from a staring bison, turned her back on the animal in order to snap a selfie with her daughter. The bison charged, rammed the woman and sent her airborne.
And last year, a Canadian dude standing too close to the railroad tracks attempted to take a video selfie – and got bonked in the head by the overhanging foot of the train’s engineer.
Selfie deaths are on the rise, and the proof is well documented.