As shameful as it is, the truth is – we are living in the age of selfies. The urge to become popular in our social media circuit has made us all susceptible to the selfie syndrome. Even when people are on trips, traveling to beautiful locations with breathtaking views, they do not seem to be satisfied with just the picture of the locale. They want to be IN IT. And with powerful front cameras, it has become extremely easy to click a picture capturing oneself against the stunning backdrop. This picture then goes up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tinder even. And the validation received via ‘Likes’ and ‘Comments’ have become so desired that many people will stop at nothing to ensure they fit the ‘popular’ bill. Alll this is fine till it gets to the point of stupidity when people start flirting with danger while clicking these selfies. Several cases of people dying while trying to take a selfie have been reported over the past couple of years. And it’s a shame that India tops the list of number of selfie-related deaths over the past two years. (ALSO SEE After Mumbai, selfie turns fatal for tourist in Rajasthan!)
Recently, a group of researchers at Precog@IIITD who study, analyze, and build different aspects of social systems (e.g. social web systems like Twitter, Facebook) found that over the last two years, 127 deaths were reported to have been caused due to selfies. Of these, 76 were in India alone. That’s right. Around 60 percent of the total deaths caused due to selfies were in our country. Earlier this year, Mumbai Police had released a list of 16 dangerous spots where taking selfies could turn fatal. This growing trend of taking selfies at tricky places without taking into consideration the danger involved must be stopped. The only way to do this is by spreading awareness about the hazards and reminding people of those who have lost their lives.
We, in India, especially need to understand that life is much more valuable than recognition on a virtual platform. Also, travel is a beautiful experience in itself which stays with you throughout your life. It is something that becomes a part of you and makes you who you are. Clicking a great selfie amounts to absolutely nothing the larger experience of discovering a new place, exploring natural landscapes, taking in the ambiance of historic sites or witnessing traditional and cultural rituals that remind you of the country’s heritage. Do not waste away your life in trying to get that perfect “selfie”. Instead, respect nature and the dangers it presents while safely enjoying its sheer magnificence.
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