Putting yourself in the picture – selfies can be the death of you

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We all have a phone full of holiday pix, when first it’s you and then your other half outside the same landmark building – or a distorted selfie from a phone on a stick that required you to clear an area five feet in front of you to take it.

But now comes confirmation that the art of selfies is a dangerous – and sometimes – deadly pursuit.

Because more than 250 people died while taking selfies between October 2011 and November last year, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.

India had the highest number, followed by Russia, the United States and Pakistan.

Take one example of an Indian couple who lived in California, Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, who fell to their deaths from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park.

They had set up their camera tripod in a location that suggested to investigators that the engineering graduates died in pursuit of a spectacular picture.

By all accounts, they didn’t get it.

Ms Viswanath had previously described herself in their travel blog as an ‘ardent adrenaline junkie’ – and last March she posted a photograph of herself watching a sunset while precariously perched by the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

“A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL???” she wrote in the caption.

And, with an eerie sense of future foreboding, she concluded: “Is our life just worth one photo?”

Narcissus was the ancient Greek god who was said to have fallen head over heels in love with his own reflection; these days, with all of the self-obsessed social media addicts around the place, he wouldn’t even stand out from the crowd.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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