The art of the selfie is one that lots of people have practised and perfected in recent years. Seriously, lots. Now a days its so much in trend that people even forgets about the hazardous they may have. More than 31 million Instagram photos have been hashtagged #selfie, and according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of teens have posted a photo of themselves online. The question arises, Is posting selfies is an empowering act?
Is taking selfie shows that you can manage a smartphone or web camera. What selfie really means? It gets you more likes and comments on your social network account, it shows everyone what you look like.
Selfie is so much fun can be seen by the loads of photos in facebook, instagram, twitter in every part of social media. Taking photos were the basic thing to keep memories alive. But now ‘selfie’ is not about the memory to keep but it’s an addiction that people have adopted. In the past, pictures were taken while journey, birthday or any special events. But now people don’t wait for reason to take pictures as they are so much involved in taking selfie. It’s a part of their daily routine.
Selfie has become a dangerous activity, people are climbing on the top of forts, near the rivers, in the tracks of the train, it’ also leading people to the death. Recently, Selfie in ganga leads 7 students to death. Youth falls Expressway Bridge while taking selfie, girl falls from the train while taking selfie and may more news are their which shows how dangerous selfie is and can be. To get more social media attention people are capturing selfies at dangerous places and with dangerous animals. It all has lead to heavy injuries and even deaths of those attempting to take an ultimate selfie.
According to the information gathered, we were able to found out the Selfie Deaths have been increased over the years, and it can be directly linked to the popularity of the Selfie focused smartphone. In 2016, there were 20 deaths recorded that occurred during, or in immediate connection with taking a selfie. The number doubled next year at 31 deaths excluding the injuries that happened during capturing selfie.
Selfies have become a part of our culture, they not only take selfies for just fun but to sometimes showcase survival and self-preservation as well. The best instance is when a United Airlines flight made an emergency landing last year in summer due to some medical situation on board, as the oxygen masks come down, some passenger’s camera phones were out as they can be seen posting selfies on the internet. You may think this is straight up narcissism, but according to the psychologists, it is an instinct to snap a selfie in a near death experience. Thus, it isn’t narcissism at all, but it’s also about survival and the protection of oneself from death.
How many people are killed by selfies each year is a big question?
The answer is approximately 20+ and rising, unless people are made aware that a life should not be risked for a selfie.
According to TIME, the number of deaths due to selfies were higher than the deaths by shark attacks, which is a terrifying fact. It is not listed as an official cause of death, but over the past two years, the fatalities due to it have been increased to a massive number when compared with various other death causes. It is particularly reported that people took pictures at heights and met their demise while attempting to take selfies from heights, most commonly a high rise building or a cliff. Moreover, drowning is the second most case for selfie deaths. While people getting hit by a train, car crash and even accidentally shooting themselves or someone else as they attempt to take selfies. In an attempt to take most daring selfies, these people have lost their lives and some have been seriously injured.
The rising deaths concerns in countries like United States, Russia, and the Philippines have alerted respective countries to work on laws for such obsession and restrict them as far as they can. While on the other hand is Selfie obsessed nation, India, which has seen a rise in selfie fatalities to the highest in the world. It’s shocking to find out after doing quick research that India accounts for more than 40% of death every year and its increase very rapidly.
This new cool quotient has taken many lives in the country where social media obsession is at the peak among teenagers in metro cities. One of the first selfie deaths dates back to May 2014, when a 15-year-old boy was instantly killed by a speeding train as he was posing for a selfie on the track. Another incident happened in same state later that year when a 14-year-old boy got electrocuted as he was attempting to take a selfie on top of a stationary train.
As the selfie addiction increased to get an attention and showcase narcissism the fatalities have risen since then as next year, i.e. 2015, the selfie deaths count increased to 15. Where seven youths were drowned while taking selfies on Mangrul Lake near Kuhi, which is about 20 KM from Nagpur, India. They were trying to pose on a boat, which had tipped over. Most of the demise has happened either falling from heights or drowning in the river. Up until now the total count has risen to 29 deaths, which is an estimated count as per the reports.
To deal with this selfie obsession, there are certain cities that have taken precaution so that people don’t take selfies risking their lives just to get likes and attention on the social media. The police force in Mumbai, the capital of the state of Maharashtra in India has taken strict actions and has identified 16 “No Selfie Zones” across the city, after a man attempting to save a girl and take a selfie of saving her drowned in the ocean. These 16 sites are deemed as dangerous including major tourist spots in the city. Last year in September, officials set up no-selfie zones at the Kumbh Mela, which is country’s largest Hindu festival. It was created to prevent bottlenecks in the huge crowd. Thus, ensuring no fatalities.
Not only Mumbai police, but security officials around the world feel this and have banned the tourist spots in their respective countries as it is unsafe.
Selfie for good cause, it is an obsession and a person taking a lot of it can be called as a narcissist or either down with the Selfitis disorder as stated by APA. But once humans put their minds to convert anything for a good cause it can be a very powerful thing. One such thing happened when women across the world decided to trend the “No Make-up Selfie”, where women post their selfie without wearing any make-up. This trend across the world helped Cancer Research UK raise more than £2 million.
The campaign asked women to post their selfies without any make-up with a hashtag#nomakeupselfie. The organization was surprised by the response of the campaign, which was for a very good cause, to raise awareness about cancer and fund the research for it. This begs the question why can’t humans use social media for only such powerful acts of kindness and unity rather than risking their lives for something not valuable?