• Sep 12, 2018
The deadly selfies!

Selfie, a self-portrait photograph, has become more of a source of social approval and attention and people are ready to even risk their lives to make it stand out. In today’s digital world, people crave so much attention and are doing things by the stretch of the imagination. Taking selfies with guns or other deadly weapons, capturing pictures with wild animals to show bravery and showing off “I am faster than the train” skill has become a social media trend that doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon. 

India has notoriously become the country with the highest number of selfie deaths, as the 2016 report “Me, Myself and My Killfie” by Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT Delhi) pointed out. According to the project’s latest data, India accounts for a startling 128 out of a total of 213 selfie deaths recorded from 2014 to the present. 

Reasons for death include falling from elevated heights, drowning, animal attack, vehicle accidents and even the accidental firing of weapons. The victim of the deaths by selfie includes everyone, adults and the elderly, but especially the revolutionary youth of the country. Not a long time ago, the video of a young guy from Hyderabad, T Shiva went viral who miraculously survived with just a few injuries after getting hit by a train while attempting a selfie. 

Illustration by Vitalina Lytvyn

“It is important to educate society about the risks associated with taking selfies in order to reduce both major and minor trauma associated with the new trend.” says a report in the Irish Medical Journal, by doctors in Galway who studied four cases of selfie-induced injuries in the space of a single week. The medics say selfies have been linked to a large number of deaths worldwide – but that trauma associated with selfies is rarely publicized. They state that while taking selfies “spatial awareness is often poorer, as attention is focused on a mobile device. This can lead to trauma, resulting in hospitalization. In our institution, we have noted an increase in the past number of months of selfie-related trauma” 

The question that arises now is, why people are indulged in this high-risk behavior even after knowing that consequences might be fatal? Because YOLO