Selfie is the latest fad among people, especially the younger generation. Whether you are at the railway station, restaurant, in the park or any other scenic or not so scenic place, you would come across youngsters clicking pictures of themselves, which are more commonly known as selfies. Though these selfies are good for a person’s Facebook post, but there have been several instances where selfie-obsessed youngsters have severely injured themselves or even met their death while trying to take a selfie. Oblivious of the surroundings, people have fallen to their death or have been run over by vehicles while in the process of taking a selfie. Some individuals have even gone a step ahead and attempted to take selfie at dangerous places or in difficult positions thereby meeting a gory end. Take for instance the recent case of Preeti Pise, a 17-year-old teenager. The girl was trying to take a selfie on the tetrapods at Marine Drive. The tide was high and it hit the girl pulling her into water. This is not an isolated case but many incidents have taken place in which precious lives have been lost.
Selfie Craze in India
In fact, such is the craze for selfies in India and the accident rate is so high that a new research has stated that India has the highest number of selfie related deaths in the world. The study maintained that from March 2014 to September 2016, a whopping 60 percent of the selfie deaths took place in India. The study, which has been titled “Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths”, has estimated that of the 127 selfie deaths that took place across the globe, 76 occurred in India. In contrast Pakistan reported just nine deaths while both the US and Russia witnessed eight and six deaths. The authors of the study hope that their study will serve as a warning for the people on one hand and would inspire new technology that could warn selfie-takers when they are in risky zones.
Why selfies causing death
In fact, it is young men who are more prone to undertake dangerous selfie. The report has analysed a large number of selfies posted on twitter and come to the conclusion that 13 percent of these were taken in dangerous situations. Alarmingly, a majority of these were young people falling under the age of 24. While in the world most people have died by falling of high buildings and mountain cliffs, in India most deaths have been water-related or near railway track. In the world of virtual reality, human bonds are weakening and the generation is becoming more prone to selfies.
‘No Selfie Zones’ at dangerous places
The increasing number of selfie deaths in India has made the government to sit up and take notice. Way back in 2015, Kumbh Mela had set up no selfie zones. Now more areas are being added to the list. The state governments have been notified by the Tourism Ministry to mark ‘no-selfie zones’ at certain popular tourist attractions. As most deaths take place near water fronts and these are in abundance in Mumbai, the government has listed 16 sites as selfie-free zones with a number of them around waterfronts such as Juhu and Dadar beach fronts, Chowpatty, Marine Drive etc. Tocombat selfie deaths Mumbai police has placed warning sites at these areas. More officers have also been deployed to watch over the people.
Taking selfies is not wrong but it is imperative to be aware of the surroundings. Selfies should be avoided in dangerous places, for it is always better to be safe than sorry.