People have tumbled down the steps of the Taj Mahal, fallen off bridges and been electrocuted in an effort to take the perfect selfie.
In fact, Selfies have killed more people than sharks this year. According to media reports, at least 12 people have been killed in selfie-related incidents so far in 2015 and many more injured, while only eight have died as a result of shark attacks.
The latest selfie-related death was of a 66-year-old Japanese tourist, who reportedly suffered a heart attack while posing with a selfie stick at the Taj Mahal in India last week. Other deaths have been caused by distracted photo-takers falling off cliffs, crashing their cars & being hit by trains. In Russia, a teenager shot himself in the head, posing for a selfie, few weeks back. In another incident two men in the Urals were killed while taking a selfie of themselves holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out.
Some governments have introduced measures to reduce the risk of accident. The selfie craze has proven so dangerous that officials in Australia had to fence off a 16-storey high rock that looks like a wedding cake because people wouldn’t stop taking selfies on it, despite fears of its collapse any time.
“It’s all about me. It’s putting me in the frame. I’m getting attention and when I post that to social media, I’m getting the confirmation that I need from other people that I’m awesome,” lead researcher Jesse Fox told Reuters. “You don’t care about the tourist attraction you’re destroying; you don’t care about annoying people in your social media feed … you’re not even thinking about the consequences of your actions, so who cares if you’re dangling off the side of the Eiffel Tower?”
The moral of the story seems to be not only that fatal shark attacks are far less common than you might think, but to think twice before you do something reckless in the hope the photo will win you some approval online.