If you thought selfies were just innocuous — if somewhat annoying — self-portraits taken in a bathroom mirror, or worse yet, with a selfie stick, think again. Selfies can kill. At least this is the message being broadcast by Russia, which has recently launched a “safe selfie” campaign to combat a rather alarming number of selfie-related injuries and deaths. How does one die while taking a selfie, you might ask? The stories are equal parts alarming and unbelievable.
There was the woman who shot herself in the head while holding a pistol for a selfie (she survived), and then the very unfortunate incident in January in which two young men attempted to photograph themselves holding a hand grenade sans grenade pin. The selfie was the only thing to survive that decision making process. And if that wasn’t bad enough, The Guardian reports yet another selfie mishap, in which a teen from the Ryazan region fatally photographed himself climbing onto a railway bridge, only to be electrocuted by live wires.
Now that the country has logged a shocking 10 deaths and 100 injuries, the government is finally taking a stance against dangerous selfies, and instituting a national campaign to promote safe selfies that do not involve life-threatening situations like firearms, wild animals, heavy machinery, and other potentially deadly scenarios. In a brand new brochure, the interior ministry warns, “A cool selfie could cost you your life. A selfie with a weapon kills.”
As Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to the interior minister, noted, “Unfortunately we have noted recently that the number of accidents caused by lovers of self-photography is constantly increasing. Since the beginning of the year we are talking about some hundred cases of injuries for sure … The problem really exists and leads to very unfortunate consequences.”
So now, the governmental agency has released a two-page brochure that warns of all the hazardous selfie situations to avoid, including rooftops, precarious boating setups, steep mountains, and nine more deadly disasters to steer clear of. As Alexeyeva warned, “Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of ‘likes’ could lead someone on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous.”