by Sherine Mostafa
Congratulations world, your narcissism is literally killing you! The total number of selfie-related deaths in 2015 has climbed even higher after the death of a tourist who fell down the stairs while struggling to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal. The digital media website Mashable puts this into perspective after stating that the number of people who’ve died from taking selfies this year has officially outnumbered those who’ve died from shark attacks. According to the website, 12 selfie-related deaths have been recorded this year as opposed to the 8 deaths caused by shark attacks. You’d think that after a four-film franchise chronicling the horrors that people face when up against these apex predators, sharks would be pulling in more numbers than a fragile hand-held device. So what’s a shark got to do?
Although the statistics might almost come across as laughable, these deaths are a tragic wake-up call encouraging people to look up from their phones. Mashable states that most people actually fell to their deaths or were hit by trains, all while attempting to snap the perfect selfie. Parks, museums, music festivals, sporting venues and landmarks all around the world have already begun banning the “selfie stick” and for some places, selfies in general. More people, especially tourists, are succumbing to reckless and sometimes life-threatening behavior, just to capture a few memorable photos. I have to say I do admire the dedication, and I know that those 27 ‘likes’ on Instagram are extremely vital, but I’m not sure I could put my life on the line like that.
I think the message here is a simple one. It’s an age-old lesson, dating all the way back to when the front-facing camera was first conceived. Put your phone down, stop taking so many pictures of yourself, and start enjoying the vast and beautiful world around you. Apparently, it can save your life.