Sharks Have Killed Less People Than Selfies This Year

A new word you might have heard of is a selfie or a self-portrait. Smartphones and digital cameras make it easy to take pictures of ourselves to share with others and people are taking more selfies more often than ever. People are sharing smiles from their desks, while on vacation or while performing daring stunts or ignoring safety. In fact, selfies are so dangerous that more people have died from taking selfies in 2015 than there have been fatal shark attacks during the same period. Tragedy has stuck numerous families as selfie-takers young and old lost their balance while snapping a photo or were ignoring the fact that they were driving a vehicle and shouldn’t be on their phones.

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While the numbers are small for each, death by selfie is something that should be given consideration much like one’s fear of being eaten by a shark. In 2015, there were 8 deaths related to shark attacks and 12 which were connected to taking a selfie. The chances of either happening are pretty small, but it is pretty profound to think that taking a picture of yourself could be just as dangerous as plunging into the ocean and swimming where the sharks live. It is very unlikely to die while taking a selfie, but it is important to be aware of the surroundings and make sure that a cellphone or a camera will not be unsafe distractions. There are lots of injuries related to taking selfies and it’s not always clumsy people who are having the accidents.

An invention born out of the need to take selfies is the selfie-stick which is a collapsible pole to mount a phone for capturing photos and videos of yourself from a short distance. Entertainers will use selfie-sticks instead of a camera operator in some circumstances to keep video focused on themselves in exclusive events. Amateur photographers use selfie-sticks to artistically place themselves in scenes at adjustable angles. Tourists no longer need to ask passers-by to take their picture, as a selfie-stick gives couples the ability to take their own pictures without any help from others. Some places have been slow to accept selfie-sticks and ask visitors to refrain from using selfie-sticks at historical or other revered sites. They argue that something about the selfie-stick takes away from the atmosphere or ambiance of an attraction.

Even more dangerous than texting while driving, taking a selfie while driving happens more often than it should and puts countless lives at risk. Sometimes attention and thrill seekers will climb to the top of tall buildings or radio towers so that they can share the experience online and gain widespread attention for their stunt. Those who fail to do so safely pay the price by falling hundreds of feet to the hard ground. A recent accident at the Taj Mahal involved a couple in their sixties who lost their balance on a flight of stairs while taking a selfie. The wife sustained serious injuries, while the husband did not make it.

Many people view selfies as a sign of arrogance and an addiction to vanity. People who have low self-esteem or are starved for attention will over-share their self portraits, updating a new photo to their profile or other online account several times a day. Selfie-addicts can be seen holding their smartphone or camera in the air in front of landmarks, at large events or even at restaurants. It is important to find a balance in being able to share unique experiences with others while being respectful of the environment nearby. By understanding the risks involved it is easier to foresee any potential issue that might arise and make better decisions in the first place before things get out of control.

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