Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Death By Selfie

photo-19A decade ago, there was probably no such category of death. These days, some people seem to be taking irrational risks in order to seek some sort of self-glorification. Deaths by selfies are getting common enough that I wonder if this statistic is being tracked in a category of its own.

This morning, I woke to read two selfie accidents. First, it was of a 21 year-old Singaporean tourist who died after falling off a cliff in Bali while taking a selfie. Then, a Russian woman shot herself, in her head, also while taking a selfie. She was coincidentally also a 21 year-old. Fortunately, she did not die, but I seriously wonder what was going on through her head when she pointed a loaded gun at herself.

While this Russian woman may be lucky (or not), there are indeed other cases of selfie deaths involving guns pointed at ownself, such as this Mexican man who shot himself with a handgun. Oh wait, I got to say, he was also 21 years old.

The selfie death on cliff situation is not all that unique either. A couple died after falling from a cliff in Portugal. They were taking selfies. That’s not all the falling from height accidents:

  • 23 year-old student falls from landmark bridge in Span (source)
  • 17 year-old girl falls from railway bridge (source)
  • 21 year-old South African girl falls from cliff (source)
  • 18 year-old man falls from door (source)

Oh yes, the last one is really odd. He fell from a door.

There’s plenty more you can search, falling from height or a myriad other reasons, all involving taking selfies.

Seriously, people are throwing caution to the wind in these dangerous situations. Situations, clearly, when without a camera around, your common sense would have told you to approach with extreme care and caution.

To be sure, selfies existing prior to the generation of smartphone cameras. They were called self-portraits. Of course, they aren’t quite the same thing. Self-portraits are often taken not by one’s ownself. The environment is usually safer, and if not, at least there are two or more persons to look out for each other, from different angles.

Always safety first.

Update (2015-05-24): The media posted an update, upon clarification by family, that the 21 year-old Singaporean who died falling off cliff in Bali was in fact not taking a selfie.

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