What’s On

#sowhoknew: Me, my selfie and die

Dying to take a selfie? Think again, it may be more dangerous than you imagine. True fact? More people have been killed taking selfies this year than in shark attacks. Mashable has validated the numbers and 12 people have died this year taking selfies compared to eight deaths by shark attack. So why is this seemingly safe pastime so perilous?

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With an estimated one million selfies being taken each day, I suppose it isn’t a huge surprise that the number of associated incidents is rapidly on the rise. The number one reason why people shrug off their mortal coil whilst taking a selfie? Falling. Only last week a Japanese tourist died when he fell down some stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal.

Next up? Being hit by some form of moving vehicle. Back in April, Peruvian Jared Frank became an overnight sensation on YouTube when he attempted to take a selfie in front of a moving train and ended up being kicked in the head by the conductor.

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And I guess this exemplifies the point because people are taking ever increasing risks to capture the most extreme selfies. It appears that idiocy has no boundaries as there are literally thousands of snaps portraying people perched on top of the world’s highest buildings, running away from the bulls in Pamplona or even attempting to catch a selfie with venomous snakes. Yep you read that right. In July, CNN reported the story of a certain Mr Todd Fassler from San Diego who was bitten several times whilst trying to take a selfie with a rattlesnake. The result? He lost part of his hand and landed a medical bill of over $150,000. There are no words…

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Meanwhile, over in Russia, the government has realised that careless selfie taking is becoming a genuine risk to it’s citizens (honestly, you can’t make this stuff up). CNET reported that Russia’s Ministry of the Interior held a press conference a few months ago to launch a novel safety initiative prompted by over 100 serious injuries and 10 deaths in the last year. These include a guy who shot himself whilst posing with a pistol and another who took a picture whilst grabbing an exposed wire to see what would happen. Funnily enough, he was electrocuted. In an effort to assist some of the more (er) ‘challenged’ members of society the Russian government have introduced a rather nifty chart outlining the types of selfie one should avoid…

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Handy tips include avoiding taking selfies in front of moving trains, on the back of speedboats, in front of tigers, with a loaded gun or whilst trying to fixing your TV aerial. Clearly all sound advice but they still missed out trying to take a selfie with a rattlesnake…

Steve Blakeman

Steve Blakeman is the Global Media Lead - Nestlé at Mindshare. Previously, he was the Managing Director - Global Accounts, OMD Europe. Previously, he was the CEO, Asia Pacific – OMD. Prior to that, he was Global Chief Integration Strategy Officer (Asia Pacific) for IPG Mediabrands (Initiative & Universal McCann). He has also had stints as worked as Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group owned media agency, PHD where he successfully launched their second office in the UK. He began his career at JWT and has over two decades of experience in advertising, media and marketing communications.