Service of Death by Selfie: Another Call for Moderation

April 22nd, 2019

Categories: Danger, Daredevil, Selfies


I was always reluctant to ask strangers to take our photo when traveling and most of the photos my husband and I took on our trips here and abroad featured one or the other of us. I loved the few shots of us together and understand the benefits of selfies. They are also ideal for those who travel alone and want to capture a memory of visits to landmarks.

But as with so many things, some take the concept too far leading to death. It’s nothing new. You may remember that Auntie Mame’s husband died in the Alps trying to get a fantastic picture of her from above. The temptation seems to be more compelling these days with the draw of social media.

Recently two tourists died after falling at Yosemite trying to get the most outrageous shot. Selfie photographers compete by posting the most awe-inspiring images hoping to get the most viewers, likes or shares.


Google “selfie deaths” and read: “A 2018 study of news reports showed that between October 2011 to November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths in 137 incidents reported globally, with the highest occurrences in India followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan.” Men die in these accidents 72 percent of the time

A Newsbeat article, “Selfie deaths: 259 people reported dead seeking the perfect picture,” noted “Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine recommend that ‘no selfie zones’ should be introduced at dangerous spots to reduce deaths.

“These would include the tops of mountains, tall buildings and lakes, where many of the deaths occurred.


“Drowning, transport accidents and falling were found to be the most common cause of death.

“But death by animals, electrocution, fire and firearms also appeared frequently in reports from around the world.”

And, adds the article, the number may be much larger as selfies are not reported as causes of death.

Do you take selfies? Do you think warning signs in temptingly dangerous places would discourage daredevil photo-seekers?  The first amendment probably wouldn’t allow social media venues to refuse to post such photos but doing so would put an end to many adventure seeking photographers, don’t you think?



19 Responses to “Service of Death by Selfie: Another Call for Moderation”

  1. Joshua Cintron Said:

    Josh wrote on Facebook: I’d never. I’d be absolutely petrified.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    And you are a serious photographer. I’m with you.

  3. Hank Goldman Said:

    Hank wrote on Facebook: All I can think about when I see these daredevils on the edge…is one little slip….That’s all it takes…Was it worth it?

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    My guess is that those 259 felled by hubris that they could get away with this would answer NO, it was not worth it. And, as the article pointed out, because “fall because of selfie” is not on death certificates, that number may be much higher.

  5. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie wrote on Facebook: New trends in S T U P I D I T Y just sayin’

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:



  7. BC Said:

    We do not do selfies. We have plenty of friends willing to take our picture! Freedom to take selfies and free speech should not interfere with anyone’s livelihood.

  8. ASK Said:

    What if these daredevil selfie-takers were really pushed?

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Never thought of that. Ugh. I suppose that someone could nudge the selfie stick that many use to get a wide view but I cannot imagine anyone doing that. Goodness gracious!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I get your point. Stores sell pencils even though in the hands of a baby they could poke an eye and cause all sorts of damage if eaten.

    I love the photos of the two of you that you send. You are lucky to have friends to snap great shots of you both. I can no longer look at photos of myself so there’s very little chance that you’ll see me taking and posting a selfie even with both feet firmly planted on the ground.

  11. ASK Said:


    Considering the lengths that people will go to to take the photos, nothing would surprise me…!

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The old saying truth is stranger than fiction would fit. Wonder if an upcoming segment of “Blue Bloods” will include such a storyline.

  13. Vicki Hidalgo Said:

    Vicki wrote on Facebook: I hate heights so this terrifies me.

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:


    No doubt those who take chances don’t get weak in the knees as most of us might just thinking of some of these antics. They are also born with or encouraged to have a sense of confidence, but one that has run amok because ultimately, it’s what killed too many.

  15. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta wrote on Facebook: I was at Grand Canyon in March and I had such a hard time enjoying the view and beauty of the Canyon because of those needing to get the perfect selfie way to far out on the edge…..

  16. Edward Baecher Said:

    Edward wrote on Facebook: Darwin will thin them out.

  17. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta wrote on Facebook: Edward, It is so crazy….even parents with little ones letting kids go to the very, very edge to grab a picture of them…..I had to walk away as it made me too nervous to watch!

  18. Lucrezia Said:

    Lucrezia wrote on Facebook: Pitiful and stupid. Additional comments will lead to bad language.

  19. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I am dumbfounded and yet can envision the parents who subjected their children to such potential danger. Where are the responsible people in this picture?

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