It sure sounds crazy, but, believe it or not, more people died in 2015 from taking selfies than from being attacked by a shark-proportionally speaking, a lot more people.
There have been at least 12 selfie-related deaths around the world this year. Lin Qiu — who conducted a study on selfies for Nanyang Technological University — said he was surprised by the alarming rates of people risking their lives to perform dangerous stunts like dangling from skyscrapers or posing with ammunition in order to get the perfect shot.
“When people are fully engaged in the self-expression process of selfies, they may be too focused on themselves and pay little attention to their surroundings, which may be inappropriate or dangerous” Qiu said.
This surge in selfie-related deaths should of course not deter tourists from taking precautions to prevent against shark attacks either. Although smartphones and cameras may not possess razor-sharp teeth or an insatiable appetite, Qiu said that being picture-perfect is not worth dying for and people should diminish the dangers involved.
“One way to reduce the risk is to remind people to be far more aware of the physical surroundings and social contexts when taking these selfies” he said.
But Rettberg thinks the blame should be placed less on the selfies themselves and more on the extreme situations people put themselves in.
Don’t put yourself on an extreme situation that is also dangerous. Take selfies with us!