The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Death by Selfie

November 1, 2018

The next time you find yourself standing on a mountain or on a scenic cliff, take an extra caution and evaluate the situation before snapping a fast selfie; it could be the last one you take. From 2011 to 2017, over 259 deaths have occured due to attempted selfies, according to a study done by the All India Institute.

While taking an innocent photo and trying to capture a moment is by no means dangerous, climbing over closed off areas or standing  precariously close to the edge of a cliff is where a simple picture takes a deadly turn.

The same study showed that 85 percent of the victims of selfie deaths were between the ages of 10 and 30 years old.  According to the Washington Post, this further leads to the conclusion that this newfound obsession with social media can cause people to put themselves in harm’s way. Social media is the perfect opportunity to showcase a thrilling and adventurous life to everyone, until it leads to an untimely death.

“Everybody is looking for that money shot to post on social media,” school counselor and avid traveler Lisa Mallard said.  “Social media has taken over so many people’s lives that rather than enjoying the moment or taking a picture and it lasting, they would rather get that amazing shot on the side of a cliff for others to see, that they just put themselves into that position for the likes on Instagram and Snapchat.”

A statistic published by the The Washington Post discovered that the country of India has the highest number of selfie related deaths. However, numerous reports of fatal incidents in North America and Europe portray the epidemic as worldwide.

As reported by ABC News in September, a 32-year old woman from California met an unfortunate fate while hiking at Pictured Rocks in Michigan, where she decided to stop at the edge of a 200 foot cliff to snap a few selfies and fell to her death. This everyday hike ended up being the last thing this women did all because of a simple picture.

In response to this crisis, many areas with mountains, waterfalls, cliffs and potentially dangerous sites have installed “no selfie zones” as an attempt to put an end to this phenomenon. However, the individual must then choose whether or not to obey these warnings.

According to the Washington Post, the most recent incident in selfie-induced deaths occurred just this past week when a couple from India was visiting Yosemite National Park, got a little too close to the edge.

“I don’t think people are aware of their surroundings and they don’t actually take into consideration the risk they are taking while trying to snap these pictures,” Mallard said.

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