Killer Selfies – The Lethal Side of FB and Instagram
A shockingly large number of people have killed themselves while taking selfies.
We live in the era of the selfie. An instant, self-absorbed portrait, done with a smartphone cam and immediately socially distributed; a gratuitous, intimate snapshot of where we are, what we’re doing, and the sometimes stupid ways we shuffle off this mortal coil.
According to studies by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), over the past eight years approximately 280 people have died while taking selfies – or succumbed immediately thereafter. Most deaths are attributable to accidents involving wild human risk-taking (duh!), tall buildings, random encounters with animals/insects in the wild, and reptile-related attacks. Russia and India account for the lion’s share of selfie-related fatalities with the US, Europe and China not far behind.
Researchers found that the most common causes of death-via-selfie are drowning, plummeting to earth from the tippy top of a skyscraper or cliff, or crashing cars into oncoming traffic (battlefield/GoPro selfies were popular for a while in the Levant until ISIL all but disappeared). With regard to social media, neurobiology and behavioral psychology have confirmed that, in the short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops hijack our ability to be ‘situationally aware‘; we thus unfocus our mind, suspend our consciousness, and get ourselves killed for the sake of posing for an internet audience (thanks Instagram).
The most selfie deaths have occurred in India (159 since 2011), Russia, Pakistan and America. The bulk of the victims were under the age of 30. Men are more likely to risk it all for a the perfect pic (around 72 percent of dust-biters are guys) but women are increasingly amping up their narcissism, endeavoring to take riskier pics for Insta-virality, often perishing in the process.
Not long ago, a 12-year-old Russian girl, known as Oksana B., nose-dived to her death right after taking a selfie on the 19th floor of an apartment tower. Last week in Bosnia a bride accidentally shot herself while firing a handgun at her own wedding (Euro bumpkins, Gopniks, Muslims and Central Asians frequently fire-off guns to celebrate – watch this shit). She recorded her own death with an iPhone while attendees and revelers watched in horror.
A fortnight ago, an 18-year-old hiker died while trying to take a selfie on a 200-foot cliff near Yosemite National Park. Her body (and phone images) were discovered a few days later. Over the summer a 22 year old Japanese girl posing by Kilauea‘s most active lava flow in Hawaii stumbled into the magma pool, instantly melting her life away (below).
Research indicates that selfie fatalities have gone parabolic in 2018 with no end in sight. As a matter of public policy, authorities the world over are increasingly establishing “no selfie zones”, especially around shark-infested waters, tall buildings, dangerous topographies, crisis zones and in zoos with random, high-risk critters (venomous snakes, etc.). Shit cray. Check out the insane images below. Whoa.
Images via Wikimedia Commons + Deep Web Taboo
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