Thursday, February 11, 2016

Death by Selfies – Smiling at the Face of Death

Posted By: Nivedhitha - 3:20 AM
*You can even read this content at this link
When Philippe Kahn created the first camera phone, he would never have thought that people would actually die using it. It took ten months for us to grow inside our mother’s womb; it took her several hours of excruciating pain to bring us out into this world and many long years of sacrifice, prayers and sleepless nights to nurture us into adulthood. But all it takes is that one careless moment for all those hopes and dreams to vanish into thin air or crumble like a castle of cards. It is like that controlled demolition where a building that took several years to build can be demolished within seconds by the push of a button.
Since the beginning of time, inventions have made our lives easier. With the advent of wheel, mankind kick-started its journey of using technology to make cumbersome tasks easier. We talk about artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, new inventions, innovations, incremental innovations and we are few years away from landing a man on Mars. On the other hand, we push a door that says pull and we fill a petrol car’s fuel tank with diesel. We have auto-pilots and fly by wire planes making our lives easier and making us stupid at the same time. Common sense has become so uncommon these days where human error accounts for more than 90% of the road accidents.
Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” We live in that era. His fears have come true.
Selfie is a self-portrait photo clicked using a camera phone or a digital camera held in the hand or using a selfie stick. Selfies have gained more prominence in the recent years as the level of user engagement in photo-sharing sites and social networking sites has increased. The word “Selfie” has become so popular that it was announced as the “Word of the Year” in 2013 by the Oxford English Dictionary. Selfies are not only clicked by humans but by machines and animals too. NASA’s Curiosity Rover clicked a selfie of itself on Mars. A controversy on the copyright of the photos clicked by a black macaque created a storm recently and a federal judge ruled in 2016 that the monkey cannot own the copyright of those pictures.
When primates and machines started clicking Selfies, humans wanted to go one step further and started indulging in miscalculated adventures. Such adventures that throw safety to the winds often result in loss of lives. The adrenalin rush and the little satisfaction of living on the edge for a moment are not worth risking your precious life. Caustic as it may seem, figures state that in 2015, more people have died from clicking selfies than by shark attacks.
A few incidents of “Death by Selfies” in the year of 2015
Jan: Three Indian students died while taking a “daredevil selfie” close to an oncoming train.March : 7 Indian youths drowned while taking selfies on Mangrul Lake near Kuhi, when their boat capsized while all of them stood up for a group-selfie
May: A Romanian died of electrocution while taking a selfie at Lași sending an electrical surge of 27,000 volts through her body.
July: A 21-year-old Russian university graduate fell from a bridge while trying to take a selfie next to Moscow City
August: A man died in the annual bull running while trying to take a selfie with the animals
September: A 19-year-old from Houston shot himself fatally while trying to take a selfie for Instagram with a loaded gun towards his head
November: 2 students from Gujarat drowned in Narmada Canal after slipping from the river bank while taking selfies
The staggering statistics of selfie deaths show that the younger generation loves to live their life on the edge.
Do you realize when you smile for a selfie on the edge of that skyscraper is your last?
Do you realize when your legs struggle to find a spot on the edge; your life is flirting with death?
Do you realize that you are doing all these for few likes and comments?
Do you realize you may not be alive to see those likes or comments?
Do you realize that all these are actually suicidal?
Remember the next time you decide to take that risky selfie, you may succeed in scarring all your loved ones till death. And, all the ‘LIKES’ in the world cannot bring you back to life.
Be safe.
Click as many selfies as you please.
But not one for your own obituary.

About Nivedhitha

Nivedhitha is an avid blogger , writer and poet who has published lots of articles in various online magazines and sites. She is soft engineer by profession and believes writing is a way to unleash one's creativity


  1. This was so great! I loved how it was written and I'm appalled at this generations obsession with selfies. love the info you shared. Thanks for a good read


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