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MADDEAUX: Selfies can kill you

Sadly, selfie queen Kim Kardashian has escaped any harm while taking the million or so snapshots of herself. TWITTER

Sadly, selfie queen Kim Kardashian has escaped any harm while taking the million or so snapshots of herself. TWITTER


Narcissism is dangerous to your health I love a good selfie as much as anyone, but it's time to draw a line. What began as a mode of self-expression and memory-making has devolved into a competition over who can get the most unique, awe-inspiring shots. Too often, this also means dangerous shots.

Take, for example, the siblings who ignored clear public safety warnings and signs along the Scarborough Bluffs in pursuit of a selfie. Rather than an envy-inducing photo, they had to be rescued by emergency services and ended up being charged with a bylaw offence. Not too long ago, a teenage e girl was spotted shooting herself on top of a TTC subway train. Last July, Croatia's mountain rescue service had to admonish tourists for taking "dangerous, stupid" selfies s after a Canadian was almost killed from falling down a 75-metre cliff. Between 2014 and 2016, approximately 130 people died in selfie-related incidents. The number of selfie deaths continues to rise .

The most common form of death involves falling from a large height, while the second involves water of some form. Interestingly, while women famously take the majority of selfies, it's men who are most prone to dangerous selfies. They make up a whopping 75.5% of all selfie casualties. Enough is enough. No photo is worth putting yourself in a dangerous situation. When I see photos of friends posing near cliffs or wild animals, I don't think they look cool.

They look dumb. Fortunately for these selfie takers, our society has evolved past the point of allowing Darwinism to reign supreme. Otherwise, these danger-seeking dimwits would be left to their own devices rather than taking up the precious time and resources of emergency workers. Personally, I would've liked to see firefighters allow the Scarborough Bluff siblings to sweat it out for a few hours. They should also have immediately been handed a bill for the cost of time, labour and tools involved in their rescue.

In some countries, such as India and Sri Lanka, police have taken to fining anyone they see taking selfies in dangerous areas. I'm reluctant to spend police manpower on social media-inspired idiocy, but something must be done.

A more practical - and cheaper - solution is simply to make dangerous selfies socially taboo. Don't encourage or "like" selfies that look like they were taken in precarious situations. Perhaps Instagram should have a way to report and potentially censor such selfies (they sure wasted no time censoring nipples, which are far less deadly).

It's time to show the same sort of disdain for daredevil selfies that we reserve for duck faces and photos of avocado toast.

Want to read more from Sabrina? Follow her on Twitter @SabrinaMaddeaux