Before going to great lengths to capture that one-of-a-kind selfie, you might want to think hard about how much you’d risk for it.
More than 250 deaths between October 2011 and November 2017 can be linked to selfies, a recent study has found.
The deadliest place to take a selfie?
According to the study, there have been at least 70 selfie fatalities due to drowning during the 6-year period. The deadly incidents include people getting swept away by waves, ignoring safety warnings on beaches, and being on boats that have capsized.
Water-borne selfie deaths are especially deadly as they often involve multiple people. The 70 deaths stemmed from 32 incidents, according to the study.
Perhaps just as dangerous, or even more so, are selfies taken from elevated places.
The study cites 48 deaths from “falling” that resulted from 41 incidents — that’s a higher number of fatal incidents involving selfies than drowning, even if the overall death toll is lower.
Here’s a full list of the causes of selfie death:
The study was conducted by a group of researchers out of India, which is home to more selfie-related deaths than any other country. It’s important to note that researchers based their findings off English news outlets’ existing coverage of selfie-related deaths, meaning there may be other deaths that occurred within the study’s six-year period that either weren’t reported or occurred in a non-English speaking country.
A couple of other interesting findings:
Almost three-quarters of the selfie-related deaths were men. Even though studies have found that women take more selfies than men, men more likely to engage in risky behavior to capture the perfect picture.
The majority of the 51 people whose deaths involved a mode of transportation were killed in selfie-related incidents involved moving trains.
Most of the selfie deaths involving firearms occurred in the US.
To reduce the number of selfie-related deaths, researchers suggest that cities and other public entities designate certain places as “no-selfie zones” This idea has already been implemented in Mumbai, where authorities have marked 16 places in India’s largest city as off-limits that they deem to be most risky for selfie shots.
Other countries have taken similar steps to ensure safe selfie-taking — Russia ran a public safety campaign in 2015 centered around safe picture-taking practices. Rangers in New York’s Catskill Mountains enacted a number of safety measures near several waterfalls and cliff edges, and can ticket visitors for putting themselves in risky situations in the name of selfies.
But it’s hard to say whether the fervor to capture the best selfie will diminish anytime soon. Businesses have found innovative ways to profit off the craze, including pop-up museums in several cities who are attracting visitors by providing backdrops for Instagam-worthy pictures.
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