The World Leader in Selfie-Related Deaths Is…

I learned my lesson in 2004 while crossing a street in Qingdao, China. The crosswalk was in the middle of a long road, with pedestrian passages in a divider fence. I was answering a text message, stepped on the bottom plate of the fence, which was broken and the metal bar popped up, tripping me. Broken thumb on my writing hand that will be arthritic is a good reminder. Could have been much worse with traffic in the lane to which I tumbled.

The candidates for selfie-related deaths leader naturally suggest the big population countries (China, India) and those that have a ‘Hey, look at me,’ ignominious final moments culture (US, Russia).

The Washington Post reports that the 2015 leader is India at 27 deaths, roughly half of the worldwide reported total:

In 2015, Indians taking selfies died while posing in front of an oncoming train, in a boat that tipped over at a picnic, on a cliff that gave way and crumbled into a 60-foot ravine and on the slippery edge of a scenic river canal. Also, in September, a Japanese tourist trying to take a selfie fell down steps at the Taj Mahal, suffering fatal head injuries.

Measures have been increased to save people from themselves:

Mumbai police said this week that they had identified more than a dozen “no-selfie zones” around India’s largest city after three young girls were swept out into the Arabian Sea while taking selfies in a rocky part of the Bandra area Saturday. One of the young women is presumed to have drowned, as did a man who jumped in to save them.

India’s riotous religious festivals are targeted as well:

Last year, no-selfie zones were also established in certain areas of the massive Hindu religious gathering called the Kumbh Mela because organizers feared bottlenecks caused by selfie-takers could spark stampedes.

While there is morbid humor in all this, that is 27 lives that should not have ended. As above, one was a Good Samaritan that never should have had to make that jump. There are so many ways to fault masturbatory selfie culture, the photos no one but the photographer wants to see. Let’s at least try to do our part to keep ourselves and others from the cliff edge.

To cap the article I looked for a sample selfie photo on flickr creative commons, you don’t want to do that.

So what the heck, since it is now good to be narcissistic, here’s one of the few selfies I can find of myself, though using a real camera might disqualify. It was taken in a Central Asian country that had a presidential election in 2014.

Getting a Shave

Rapid Travel Chai newsletter ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram

  • snoptro

    I see you were totally going for the Keanu look 😀

    Wonder how many of those deaths involved selfie sticks?!

  • Jamie

    We were just on Oahu and saw a group of 20something guys climb over the rail at one of those beautiful sea side cliffs and have their picture taken. That was scary enough looking, then one of them hoped back over and took a selfie. I could just see the extension of the arm throwing off your balance and tumbling to your death. At least that’s what would’ve almost certainly happened to me.