By Ronelyn Faith C. Vailoces
On the edge of a cliff where the tallest trees landscaped down the mountain slope, on top of a tall building where the height could have a spectator’s adrenaline rush, or on top of a moving vehicle that shows the objects as you pass by – that is the momentum when someone is tempted to grab his camera to capture the moment. Selfies can be the best way to show adventure and excitement. It could also be the reason why it could be life-threatening.
Last Jan. 5, a 19-year-old mass communication student from Adamson University lost her life when she fell from the 20th floor of a condominium while taking a selfie. In September last year, more people died because of taking selfies than encountering shark attacks. According to a research by the Washington Post, in 2015 there were at least 27 deaths because of selfie-related accidents. A simple picture-taking can take one’s life away in a a second.
The numbers of daredevil selfie accidents are caused by unprecedented danger. Most of the selfie-related deaths are due to falling. In South Africa, an American woman fell from a cliff while taking a selfie with her boyfriend. Other people have died because they were taking photos with a weapon, just like the two Russian men who took a selfie with a hand grenade and a Russian woman who shot herself in the head while capturing a self-portrait.
Not only can a selfie cause the death of an individual, it can also cause the death of a relationship. Instead of having a conversation with people and enjoying the experience, some people focus their attention on the camera. They want to capture the best photographs as of the moment and post them on social media. Why? Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center, said,”Biological, social validation is a real need and there is even an area of the brain that is dedicated to social activity.” The desire to take, to post, and to get ‘likes’ is part of human nature. The Russian Interior Ministry even released a brochure warning the public about selfies that can threaten the lives of people. An aide to Russia’s interior minister, Yelena Alexeyeva, said, “Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of ‘likes’ could lead [to] a journey to death and [the] last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous.”
According to Peggy Drexler, Ph.D. a research psychologist, posting selfies can be empowering. She said that selfies can help readjust the society’s standard of what beauty is and it can also help reinforce the idea that how we look at things is still what is important.
Who doesn’t want to be appreciated? The likes people get from social media can boost self-confidence—it is innate. But a person doesn’t need the approval of anybody else to believe that he or she is beautiful or pleasing. One can’t be measured by the likes that person gets. Moments are best when we drop our cameras down and mingle with true people. Moments last when they are photographed in our memory.~