These days, it seems people will do anything to capture an epic shot.
Whether this means dangling out the window of a train, climbing a building, or simply paying more attention to your screen than your surroundings – taking a photo of yourself can come at a serious cost.
Meaning, a growing number of people are literally dying while trying to take a selfie.
Most recently, a 66-year-old Japanese tourist died, and his travel companion has been injured, after the pair fell down the stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal.
The man’s death raises the selfie toll death toll this year alone to 12. Yes, 12 people have died at the hands of the selfie we all love to hate. To put this into perspective, there have been eight deaths so far this year due to shark attacks. With that said, it’s obviously become an actual issue.
People are so focused on their screens that they cease to pay attention to their (often unfamiliar) surroundings. Four of the selfie deaths were the result of falling. The next leading cause of selfie deaths involved either being hit or injured by trains.
In an age where we’ve all become photographers, a growing number of people are taking real risks to capture a memorable photo that will set them apart. A Colorado park recently closed because its visitors couldn’t resist their urge to take selfies with the bears. Many landmarks have also begun banning selfies – or, at least, selfie sticks.
Selfie deaths have become so common in Russia that the government even released a guide that basically details how not to die when taking a selfie. Among the recommendations are that selfie-takers don’t balance on dangerous surfaces or pose with loaded weapons.
If you’re still skeptical, you can check out a full comprehensive list on Wikipedia of all known selfie deaths and injuries. This includes 19 separate incidents since 2014.
When it comes down to it, is a personal record number of “likes” worth it being the last photo you’ll ever take? Be smart.