While you might think taking a photo of yourself would be less dangerous than swimming in shark-infested waters, you’d be wrong. Dead wrong!
Of course I’m exaggerating – you shouldn’t really do either, and definitely don’t do both at the same time – but it turns out, over the past few years, selfies have claimed more lives than sharks.
As models, influencers and pretty much everyone with a smartphone and narcissistic tendencies can attest, the rise of selfies has been meteoric. Especially thanks to social media and – of course – the selfie stick, everyone uses one right? Can’t remember the last time I left the house without mine.
However, it seems we ought to be taking more care of ourselves when we’re posing for that sickening selfie, as over the last few years five times more people have been killed taking selfies than by sharks.
Between October 2011 and November 2017, just 50 people died from sharks attacks around the world, while in the same time 259 people died while taking selfies, according to India’s Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, via MailOnline.
Out of those who have died while taking selfies, young men make up three quarters of the number, despite women taking more selfies, according to the report. This is because, it is suggested, men are more likely to take risks for the photos, with common causes of fatality being drowning, vehicles crashes, falls or shooting accidents.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
So far, India – with its population of 1.3 billion, and 800 million mobile phones – holds the record for number of people dying while taking selfies, with 159 recorded deaths.
The high rate of selfie deaths in India has led the country to set up ‘no selfie’ zones, 16 in Mumbai alone, where taking a quick snap of yourself is not permitted.
India had, by far, the highest amount of selfie deaths compared to other countries, with Russia coming in second with 16, and America third with 14.
In Russia, cases of death by selfie include falling from bridges and high-rise buildings, shootings, and even while handling a land mine. This led the police to issue a ‘selfies without danger’ guide in 2015.
Meanwhile, in America, it was reported the highest instances of death by selfie was due to people shooting themselves or falling into the Grand Canyon.
A number of countries are now issuing warning to tourists to stop taking dangerous selfies. For example, in Croatia a Canadian tourist luckily survived a 250ft (75m) fall in the Plitvice Lakes region after trying to capture the perfect snap.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.