The cameras in smart phones provide a quick way to snap an image of the phone user, and with the proliferation of smart phones in everyday life, people are well acquainted with the term “selfie” to refer to taking pictures in this manner. However, in the past few years people have suffered injury or death while taking a selfie due to insufficient awareness of surroundings. Kentucky residents should be aware that not paying heed to dangerous surroundings can turn taking a selfie from a fun activity to something quite deadly.
According to Forbes, the number of people worldwide who have died from taking selfies has steadily increased. In 2014, 15 people died. In 2015, the number increased to 39. In 2016, the number escalated to more than 73 fatalities. Victims tend to be young, mostly 24 years of age or younger. In spite of the fact that women are more likely to take selfies, three out of every four people who died while trying to take selfies were actually men.
Deaths from selfies usually are associated with dangerous locations. People are most likely to run into serious danger by taking a picture in a place that is situated very high up. These environments include mountains, cliffs, buildings or any other extremely high location. Fatalities result when a person taking the picture ends up falling from one of these great heights.
In addition, people are more likely to be killed while taking a selfie in these situations:
- Posing in a location near or on water
- Standing on a set of train tracks
- Posing with a firearm
- Taking a picture in a spot involving electricity, vehicles or animals
Sometimes even if a person escapes death, a selfie gone wrong can still inflict serious injury. ABC News reported that a woman in Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison while trying to take a selfie near the animal. The injuries, though serious, were not life threatening. In other cases taking a selfie can result in property damage, as was the case in Los Angeles when a woman in an art museum lost her balance and caused damage to $200,000 worth of sculpture art.
It is true that selfies provide fond remembrances. However, anyone taking a self portrait with a phone should be aware of dangerous locations so as to avoid injury, property damage and possibly death.