March 30, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

How far away is death? The danger in selfies

In the BBC article, “The dangerous art of the ultimate selfie,” technology reporter Jane Wakefield proclaimed, “If 2014 was the year of the selfie, then 2015 took the art of self-photography to a new and dangerous level.”

In her pursuit of studying the selfie, Wakefield discovered that, “People are, quite literally, dying to take a picture of themselves.

“In Russia this year there have been a handful of selfie-related fatalities, including the death of two men in the Ural Mountains who posed for a photo while pulling the pin from a hand grenade.

“And, in June, a university graduate died after trying to take a selfie while hanging from a Moscow bridge.”

Wakefield also came across an animal lover,Justine, pursuing a self-picture with wildlife when she came too close to a camel, as you can see in the featured image from Our Naked Australia (Twitter: @OurNakedAus).

She goes on to warn us about the danger of selfies, ”

“The problem isn’t just limited to Russia. In the US recently a man died after shooting himself in the neck while taking a selfie.

“At least 12 people have died this year while taking pictures of themselves making the practice more deadly than shark attacks, of which there have only been eight recorded deaths in 2015, according to tech news site Mashable.

“The statistic is creating very real problems for governments.

“In August, officials at the Waterton Canyon in Colorado were forced to close the park after several people were caught getting a little too close to the wildlife.

“‘We’ve actually seen people using selfie sticks to try and get as close to the bears as possible, sometimes within 10 feet [3 metres],’ said recreation manager Brandon Ransom in a blog.

“And, at Yellowstone National Park, officials issued a warning after five separate incidents of selfie-takers being gored by bison.

“In Australia, a rock that looks like a wedding cake was fenced off because too many people were climbing it to take pre or post-wedding photos of themselves.”

Wakefield posits it may be that the selfies craze is about “the 15 seconds of fame” some people crave.
So why are some people willing to risk their life to take the ultimate selfie?

“It may come down to pure bravado, thinks Lee Thompson – whose snap of himself on top of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro went viral in June 2014.

“‘People see pictures like mine and see how they spread across the world and see a way to make themselves famous for 15 minutes,’ he told the BBC.”

Source/photo content/credit: BBC Tech, “The dangerous art of the ultimate selfie,” by Jane WakeField, October 15, 2015.

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How Far Away Is Death?
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