Selfies more lethal than sharks
NEW YORK — With all of the news regarding shark attacks these past months, one may assume that the number of recent deaths from shark bites would be on the high side. While it’s been documented that eight people lost their lives this year due to sharks, Sciencealert is reporting that more people worldwide — at least 12 — have passed away this year due to a selfie-related incident.
In other words, selfies are killing more people than sharks.
The latest death by selfie victim was a 66-year-old Japanese tourist who slipped down the steps at Taj Mahal’s Royal Gate in India. Other selfie fatalities include the picture taker falling off a cliff, crashing their car, being run over by a train, or accidentally shooting themselves.
So what exactly is going on here? “Part of what happens when a person gets focused and self-absorbed in something — whether it’s their personal problems, a crisis at work or even taking a selfie — they become so immersed to the point where they get distracted and ignore almost everything else that’s around them,” Stacy Kaiser, licensed psychotherapist, relationship expert and editorat-large for Live Happy, tells Yahoo Health. “And in the case of selfies, people are dying because they’re not seeing that cliff or noticing the car that is about to hit them.”
In some situations, Kaiser believes that taking selfies, in its simplest form, can be viewed as fun and trendy. “But on a deeper level, there’s a narcissistic element,” she states. “It’s a way of saying, ‘Look at me! Look how great I look! Look where I am! Everyone needs to see it and know about it!’ It’s attention seeking behavior. There has actually been research about the more narcissistic you are, the more selfies you take.”
(The study Kaiser refers to was published in January 2015 by Ohio State University, which found that men who posted more photos of themselves on social media scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy.)
Kaiser adds that selfie-lovers may feel that taking and sharing their “me” shots — especially the mundane ones, such as sitting in traffic, standing in line to buy shampoo — gives them a sense of importance. “There’s also this notion that if a celebrity takes a selfie in their car, then I can be just like them,” she explains. “And we know that people order the same coffee celebrities drink, they buy the same purses, so there is this phenomenon of ‘I want to be like you, so I will act like you.’”
As for the selfie craze, Kaiser doesn’t see it fading any time in the near future. “I think this trend is stepping up,” she says. “It used to be that is was the younger generation doing it, but now the older generation is doing it, the elderly are even doing it. It’s spreading and becoming even more part of what is considered socially acceptable.” Just be careful out there. — Yahoo Health
MORE people died from taking selfies this year than they did from shark attacks.