The obsession to take the perfect selfie has now overtaken common sense. People’s desire to get more likes and comments lead them to play this risky game. In the quest to take the coolest selfie and upload it on the social media, many get injured, and some lose their lives. An unfortunate reality that is staring at us today..
According to a study titled ‘Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths’, more people in India than any other country have died due to selfie related accidents.
India also was the backdrop of 76 out of the 127 reported selfie deaths between March 2014 and September 2016 clearly stating that 60 per cent of all selfie deaths take place in India.
On May 10, four doctors from Solapur drowned at the Ujane dam on Bhima River near Indapur while taking selfies in the backwaters.
The latest reported selfie accident in city was of a pregnant woman from Latur who slipped from Tanaji Kada at Sinhagad fort, almost falling into a deep 150-foot valley while taking a selfie. Fortunately, she was saved and managed to escape with minor injuries.
Apart from falling off a cliff, being hit by a vehicle, drowning in water or selfies while driving, cases of people being killed on railway tracks while clicking selfies with running trains are the maximum.
Dr. Manish Bajpayee, a leading city psychiatrist opines that people who take too many selfies are Narcissists. “It is a case of narcissism where there is excessive admiration for oneself. It also sometimes happens that people are unable to express themselves. Their inability to acknowledge their value lead them to the egoistic admiration of themselves.
“Either they love themselves very much or disguise their pain by posting happy selfies on their social media accounts.
Narcissism lead to various personality disorders and increases the level of anxiety and violence. Depression can also be a side effect of it,” he adds.
Pradnya Raj, an active social media user says, “I like posting selfies and images taken in distant locations because I want people to know that I have also visited the place. Social media is a window through which people can peep into my personal life so I keep it updated.
“Often, I plan a trip only because I want to upload a new selfie on my profile. Although I am cautious, some people are so involved in the act that, they neglect taking necessary precautions,” she adds.
Although, the authorities are trying to control this outrage of selfie accidents by making some spots ‘selfie free’, people across the country are still unwilling to back off from taking so called ‘daring selfies’ at risky locations and situations.
On 28 June, a 17-year-old girl died at Marine Drive, Mumbai while trying to take a selfie with her friends after which the police also tweeted out a warning message.
Insensitive selfies at accident spots and with animals in zoological parks have also resulted in fatal accidents.
On July 16, 48 people were injured when standing too close to a burning bakery in Chennai to take selfies. They repeatedly ignored warnings advising them to move away from the blaze. Similarly, on 25 July, a 30-year-old man sneaked into the Bannerghatta Biological Park near Bangalore with friends to take selfies with an elephant that later trampled him to death.
In reality the selfie has now become a lethal and contagious disease that stares at mankind today. We do hope better sense will prevail in our city for a start..