Death by #Selfie

Picture This:

You’re standing at the Royal Gate of the famous Taj Mahal. You’re painstakingly lining up what may or may not be the most epic selfie you’ve ever posted.

But then you take a tumble. You fall and fall and fall, and in the end, you can’t be saved.

Death. By Selfie.

Sounds absurd, right? Well, folks, it’s not. Because it happened.

A Japanese tourist unfortunately died after injuries sustained from a fall produced by a selfie. His travel companion was also injured. That brings the total amount of selfie related deaths this year to 12.

Only 8 people have died from shark attacks.

Image: Donte Neal/Mashable
Image: Donte Neal/Mashable

Four of these selfie-related deaths have been the result of falling. The next cause of selfie deaths involve train accidents, either from tourists trying to snap a pic with a moving train, or standing on some dangerous equipment.

This dangerous trend keeps expanding into more and more activities.

Parks have closed because visitors keep trying to take selfies with bearsbull runs — an already dangerous activity — have had to expressly outlaw selfie-taking, and even Tour de France cyclists are concerned about selfie danger. (

Clearly, this growing (and alarming) trend need not only apply to being a tourist. There are plenty of homegrown opportunities to put ourselves in danger in order to produce the “best selfie EVER!”

I’m not going to lie to you, dear readers. The thought of selfie related deaths is heavy enough of a subject for a Friday afternoon, so let’s keep this short. Everybody wants to document the details of an amazing adventure abroad, and our tiny pocket computers (alias cellphones) have made that documentation process a whole lot easier. But when we are constantly looking for the perfect photo op, are we even taking the time to appreciate the things around us? Are we traveling with purpose? Are we immersing ourselves in the new, unfamiliar surroundings in which we find ourselves?

Selfies are fun, but you know what they say. Everything in moderation.

Because would you really want your obit to read, “S/He died as s/he lived, incessantly snapping selfies”?

That selfie stick won’t catch you on the way down. 

“Digital Detox” is a weekly series written by Victoria Freyre and edited by Elyana Twiggs. Every Friday, we explore different ways to disconnect, use the digital world responsibly, and rekindle human connection. To stay current with our latest posts,  follow #digitaldetox on our other platforms and check back regularly for updates.

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