Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
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Common sense goes a long way when taking selfies


Snapping the perfect selfie can be fun. But if it involves flying a plane or holding a loaded handgun or standing on slippery rocks near the top of a waterfall, you may want to think twice.

Romeo Gacad/Getty Images Enlarge

Have you ever leaned a little too close to danger to get a great selfie? Be honest.

You probably have and you’re not alone. In fact, the lengths people are willing to go to for the perfect social-media staple — the selfie — are getting quite a few folks killed.

Researchers with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi calculated that 259 people had been killed between October, 2011 and November, 2017 while taking selfies.

And in the United States, the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care published a paper recently warning about the increasing number of serious injuries attributed to selfies.

For the sake of just the right shot from a cell phone camera held out at arm’s length, we lose all sense of danger. Fixated on what we can see in the photo we’re taking, we forget to watch out for hazards.

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People taking selfies — or attempting to take them — have been accidentally electrocuted, washed out to sea, attacked by animals, thrown overboard from a boat, hit by a train, and fallen off a cliff.

Remember when you used to have to hand your camera to a passerby stranger if you wanted a photo of yourself at a picturesque spot? Do we need to go back to that?

The Indian researchers counting up selfie deaths went so far in their report as to advocate authorities begin establishing “no selfie zones” at landmarks and other places likely to create the temptation to snap a risky picture. Do we really need that?

Or can we just re-establish a little common sense?

Maybe we can be a little more aware of our surroundings, a little less self-absorbed, and a lot less worried about snapping the next viral selfie.

And maybe we can — gasp — worry a little less about taking selfies in front of breathtakingly beautiful scenes and just enjoy them live and in person instead.

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