The rise of selfie photography in some of the worlds most beautiful, and dangerous, places is sparking a range of interventions aimed at combating risk-taking that has resulted in a string of gruesome deaths worldwide.
The act of taking a picture of oneself with a mobile phone, placing the subject center-stage, has exploded in popularity in recent years, with everyone from Britains Queen Elizabeth II to US President Barack Obama joining in.
But the selfie has also inspired a spate of risk taking and offensive public behavior, pushing the boundaries of safety and decorum, whether by dangling from a skyscraper or posing with live explosives.
Several governments and regulatory bodies have now begun treating the selfie as a serious threat to public safety, leading them to launch public education campaigns reminiscent of those against smoking and binge drinking. Dozens of grisly selfie-related deaths and injuries in early 2015 led Russias Interior Ministry to launch a campaign warning avid mobile phone snappers about the danger of, among other things, posing for a selfie with a lion.
The mans death raises the selfie toll this year — to 12. To put that in perspective, in 2015 there have so far been eight deaths caused by shark attacks, reports Mashable. It sounds like a joke, but unfortunately it isn : The deaths are a tragic reminder to travelers that focusing on a phone screen instead of unfamiliar surroundings is not safe.
Recently, A 66-year-old Japanese tourist has died, and his travel companion has been injured, after falling down stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal. Four of the selfie deaths this year, like the tourist, identified as Hideto Ueda, were caused by falling.
In June, two men in the Ural Mountains died after posing pulling the pin from a hand grenade; in May a woman survived shooting herself in the head in her Moscow office; a month later a 21-year-old university graduate plunged 40 feet (12 meters) to her death while posing hanging from a Moscow bridge.
Its not clear if the number of daredevil selfies is increasing, but more and more tourists are making headlines because of their dangerous attempts at a memorable photo. Parks have closed because visitors keep trying to take selfies with bears, bull runs — an already dangerous activity — have had to expressly outlaw selfie-taking, and even Tour de France cyclists are concerned about selfie danger.
Yet despite the risks, selfies are more popular than ever, according to data from Google Trends. Searches for the term were up eight times in 2014 over the previous year, leading the Internet search giant to dub it “The Year of the Selfie”.
Selfies tend to attract a type of person already more likely to push the boundaries of normal behavior, says Jesse Fox, an assistant professor of communications at Ohio State University.
From small children to all the way to the prime minister of India, everyone is now accustomed with taking selfies. However, one should really be careful about pushing the danger limits whilst taking a selfie.
Author: Ishan Hasnat – Bangladesh
source foto: pinterest