In the past 7+ years, over 250 people around the world have died while taking a selfie. In fact, 127 of those deaths occurred between March 2014 and September 2016 alone.
In trying to get the perfect pose to Tweet or put on Instagram, people have misstepped (or ran out of land) and fell into water, off a cliff, you name it. So a handful of countries are trying to combat the problem.
Of the 127 selfie deaths during that 30-month time frame, around 75% were male and nearly 70% were under the age of 24. 25% of the deaths happened at very tall heights, such as at the ledges of cliffs, buildings and mountains, but death by animals, firearms, vehicles and electrocution aren’t rare, either.
76 (60%) of the deaths happened in India, and 90% of those happened near the waterfront. In response, the city of Mumbai designated 15 areas near the water that were “selfie-free zones.” They made signage and posted extra police officers in the area to help keep people safe…from themselves. This eventually spread out to tourist attractions throughout the country, including in Maharashtra and Goa.
In 2015, Russia launched a “Safe Selfie” campaign which, as per the BBC, included a brochure and the slogan, “Even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being.”
In 2017, Yellowstone National Park developed the “Safe Selfie Pledge” in response to the number of selfie-related deaths the previous year. The pledge includes, among other things, maintaining a safe distance from wild animals when taking selfies: 100 yards from wolves and bears, and 25 yards from other wildlife. The theme is to “Take the pledge. Tell a friend. Protect the park.”
In 2018, a national park in Indonesia said it would make a safe spot for selfie-takers to take photos after a hiker fell to his death while taking a selfie. In the same year, officials in New York State also made regulations (including physical barriers and park rangers giving out tickets) that prevent people from going within 6 feet of a cliff’s edge or swimming within 150 feet of the top of a waterfall.
Earlier this year, Irish politician Jim Daly introduced a proposal to install “selfie seats” at popular tourist attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher. Besides hopefully keeping people safe, it would also be the designated spot to get the perfect shot. In the interest of safety, hopefully they’ll be approved and installed in the not-too-distant future.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary