Selfies, which have become a global sensation over the past decade, have killed significantly more people than shark attacks.
And the death toll is rising every year as smartphones become more sophisticated and selfie-sticks expand the range where people can snap themselves, prompting them to take greater risks for their perfect shots.
According to the Indian Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, between October 2011 and November 2017, at least 259 people died while taking selfies worldwide, compared to just 50 killed by sharks at the same time.
Although women take the most selfies, young people, who are more prone to risk, account for three-quarters of selfie deaths – drownings, accidents, falls or shooting accidents.
India, with a population of 1.3 billion and more than 800 million cell phones, holds the record for the number of people who die in self-portrait, 159 so far.
That’s more than half of the world’s total – and the group photo is a testament to the nation’s love for its young population.
India has seen a group of young men taking selfies when they are hit by a train or their boat sinks at the moment they click on the shutter.
The situation has become so dire that India has created a “no selfie” zone – 16 of which are in Mumbai alone.
The country is far ahead of Russia (16 deaths), the United States (14) and Pakistan.
In Russia, people have fallen from bridges and high-rise buildings, shot themselves or even died while operating land mines. Police issued a guideline in 2015 for “selfies without danger”.
In the United States, most selfies involved in death have shot themselves while searching for the perfect pose. Many people died in the Grand Canyon.
Croatian rescue services use Twitter to stop tourists from taking “stupid and dangerous selfies” after a Canadian miraculously fell 75-meters (250 feet) off Lake Plitvis.
In January, Taiwanese social media celebrity Gigi U – known as a “bikini climber” for taking selfies on a bikini-clad mountaintop – fell into a ravine and died. He was 36 years old.
Improper selfie spot
Even when they are not deadly, selfies can be extremely scary.
In 2014, an online outrage erupted when a Brazilian woman took a smiling selfie in front of the coffin of presidential candidate Eduardo Campos at her funeral.
Social media influencer Sueli Toledo also caused a stir online when she posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, “My look today for the funeral of a super friend.”
Taking selfies in sacred or sacred places – especially when they honor the dead – can also raise questions.
At the former Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, Poland, which is visited by 2.1 million people every year, museum staff do not hesitate to contact people who post selfies that are considered inappropriate.
From Brazil to Vietnam and Germany, traffic accident witnesses posted selfies at the crash site – commonly seen as Gauche.
What’s more, selfies – even in tourist attractions – are becoming a bit of a nuisance for locals.
Residents of the picturesque Rue Cremieux in Paris were so annoyed by the constant stream of tourists taking selfies outside their windows that they started their own Instagram account, clubcremieux, where they posted pictures of the most inappropriate posers outside their doors, scattering them with thorns. Caption
The same thing has happened in Hong Kong, where residents of the huge multi-colored Quarry Bay apartment complex have signaled a ban on photography.
In Brazil, a number of young people created a buzz on Facebook in 2017 when they posted selfies of laughter among panicked bus passengers who fell to the floor during the shooting.
Faced with the crazy frenzy of endless selfies, Vienna has launched a campaign for a digital detox.
A large copy of Gustav Klimt’s classic painting “The Kiss” has been placed near the museum base in Belvedere and a huge red hashtag has been added, allowing visitors to take their selfies next to the facemill and actually see the real work of art.