Is it worth it? For the ‘gram?
The “selfie” has become a staple in popular culture in recent years, and many travelers take advantage of it as a way to capture their journeys. There can be consequences though— dangerous consequences—to getting the perfect selfie.
Just last month, a college student lost his footing and fell to his death at the Cliffs of Moher while reportedly taking a selfie. Now, Jim Daly of Ireland’s Department of Health is requesting the addition of “selfie seats” to tourist hotspots. Daly, the Department’s Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, pitched the idea to the National Tourism Development of Authority to Ireland. The seats would serve as a sturdy place for photographers to sit and safely position themselves to capture a desirable selfie.
“Families and individuals love taking photographs of themselves in areas of natural beauty. But often it is almost impossible to find a steady location or to know where the best shot is,” Daly said in a report from The Southern Star.
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Daly claims that the seats would be initially installed at all appropriate lookout points, including Old Head of Kinsale and Mizen Head, in Ireland. In addition to preventing accidents, Daly said the selfie seat would be an “innovative marketing tool,” that would boost tourism.
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Just last July, a 19-year-old died while attempting to capture selfies on a cliff at Kurnell in New South Wales, Australia. Also in 2018, 18-year-old Tomer Frankfurter fell to his death in a similar circumstance in Yosemite National Park.
According to a study conducted by researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 259 people died from selfie-related deaths around the world between October 2011 to November 2017. India took the top location where the most selfie-related deaths occurred, with Russia coming in second, followed by the US and Pakistan. In India, researches said, most of the victims were male and under 30.
“The youth and tourists are frequently affected because of the desire of ‘being cool,’ posting photos on social (media) and getting rewards in forms of likes and comments,” the study reads.
It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings when snapping the perfect photo, selfie or otherwise. We recommend avoiding taking selfies in precipitous areas, like the Cliffs of Moher, that are high up (especially on the edges of those locales), and while walking or moving. Better yet, it’s a good practice to have someone around to monitor your safety or even do the capturing!
And if possible death isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe vanity will: Researches at Rutgers University found that taking a selfie can also distort your face…is it even worth it?