Selfies: The most annoying trend of the modern era but also, allegedly, one of its deadliest.
Of course, that won’t come as a shock to anyone that has read this blog over the past year.
Not only are deaths by selfie a very real thing, but also they seem to be increasing in number.
Now research only confirms what we all knew only anecdotally before.
FStoppers reports that the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that there were no less than 250 deaths by selfie reported between October 2011 and November 2017 with the average victim being 23 years of age.
Writer Kathryn Miles has focused on the particular case of Instagrammer Gigi Wu who made a name for herself posing on cliffs’ edges in a bikini. She died after falling and succumbing to her injuries before rescuers could get to her.
FStoppers’ Andrew Richardson writes, “Miles uses the example of Wu and several other notable selfie-related deaths that have occurred recently to try to determine whether there is a difference between the sort of epic landscape photos we are used to seeing of these great natural mountains and heights and the selfie-centric images that have surged in popularity with the advent of social media.”
One of the experts that Miles consulted was Sarah Diefenbach, author of the 2017 article, “The Selfie Paradox,” published by the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. Diefenbach examines the selfie as a phenomenon enabled by a relatively new and ubiquitous technology that plays on our innate desires to present ourselves in the best light possible.
As Richardson ask at the end of his article, however, the question becomes “How much is too much?”
When you’re risking your life to take a picture, you might be going a little too far…selfie or not.
How this trend will be combated in the future remains anyone’s guess but it will be interesting to see what scientific and psychological literature comes out about this.