Greek mythology, there was a very handsome hunter. Son of a god, Narcissus knew he was insanely good looking. So much so, in fact, that when he saw himself in a pond, he fell in love with his reflection. Because he was so good looking and apparently not all that bright, he just couldn’t get enough of himself. After duck-facing for hours, he eventually fell in the pool, and while trying to french-kiss himself, drowned.
Of course, that’s the story that coined the term narcissism, an affliction that, with the global integration of social media on the grandest of scales, affects way too many people. Social media, I think, is our society’s most stiflingly narcissistic creation. But look at my duck face! Isn’t it deadly?
According to Mashable’s research, so far this year, 12 people have died in “selfie-related” accidents. Sharks, on the other hand, the most vile of nemeses, those sharp-toothed evil doers hellbent on murdering only innocents, have killed eight. That’s right: selfies have killed more people that sharks. No word yet on an iPhone cull.
A “selfie-related” accident means that someone was concentrating too much on their face in their little screen to notice the 1000 foot cliff behind them–or in a round about way, in the case of Narcissus, the pond. Recently in India, a 66-year-old Japanese tourist fell down the stairs at the Taj Mahal and died while taking a selfie. Hideto Ueda’s unfortunate accident was the twelfth death involving a selfie in 2015.
Things have gotten so bad in Russia that the government started campaigning against dangerous selfies. Teens there, as I’m sure you’ve seen, are in the habit of climbing immensely tall things, hanging off them, and taking a picture of their face. But its not just falling off things. In May, a 21-year-old woman (who didn’t actually die) shot herself in the head while taking a selfie. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but listing a bunch more is just too depressing, so I’ll leave you to Google it from your phone. Watch out for bulls, though.
No one has died taking a selfie with a shark, despite a million fake images floating around on the internet. When that time comes, though, will it be attributed to stupidity, or sharks? The way things go when a shark is involved in nearly anything, it’ll most likely be the latter.