It was a sign of the times. Or, if you will, a snap of the times. Our selfie-obsessed society – endlessly snapping pictures of ours travels, dining (and the food we’re eating as well), times at home, gym workouts and partying – getting a police warning about the dangers of the ‘ultimate” selfie.
The minutiae of our lives are now catalogued on social media - you’re not “somebody” until you’ve trended.To the puzzlement of some, the insatiable need to show everybody, everything about our lives in ever bigger, better detail has escalated to the point where police this week spoke out on social media about the risk.
Police in the Grampians issued a warning to people looking for the ultimate ‘selfie’ - the kind where your feet a dangling over a ledge. The message was simple. Don’t.
It appears “one of the issues that is constantly tying up” police resources are “ individuals risking life and limb for the ‘ultimate selfie’”. Sergeant Russell Brown, of Halls Gap, said it was “absolutely ludicrous” to see social media posts of people standing on dangerous places in the Grampians to get a photo of themselves. “If you fall, you die,” he said.
And it’s not just the Grampians. A US study found that extreme selfie quests killed 259 people globally between 2011 and 2017. The authors, the US National Library of Medicine, recommended 'no selfie zones' be introduced for mountain tops, tall buildings and lakes (the most frequent sights of photo-seeking deaths). Yes, it appears commonsense has been disabled.
Rolling Stone magazine went so far as to compile a list of “11 disturbing stories of social media pics gone wrong”, which included a selfie stick acting as a lightning rod, posing for a selfie with a live grenade and being gored to death by a bull taking a selfie at the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Getting caught up in the moment – the quest for just the right angle, the most spectacular shot to impress your friends or family (Hey, Mum, look at me! moments) – can lead to huge lapses in judgement.
It’s time to think twice. And, if that doesn’t work, remember to look down before you step back, or it could be your last selfie.
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