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When selfies attack

People will do just about anything “for the ‘gram.” From the edge of cliffs, to the tops of waterfalls, to most recently wild animals, there are hundreds of examples in the last year alone of individuals injuring themselves for the sake of the selfie.


On Saturday evening, a woman at an Arizona zoo went beyond the barrier surrounding a jaguar enclosure to snap a quick picture. She was photobombed by the claw of a jaguar that sent her to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to her arm.


The dangers of selfie-taking have become a popular topic of discussion amongst researchers like the All India Institute of Medical Studies and the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. There are a wide range of dangers discussed, from death to “selfie wrist,” a term coined by Dr. Levi Harrison, a California-based orthopedic surgeon.


The All India Institute of Medical Studies performed a study that showed in 2017 there were 259 deaths and 137 injuries that resulted from the personal portraits. In cases across the globe, selfies have led to deaths due to pressure for outrageous and Instagram-worthy pictures.


A story in 2014 in the Adobo Chronicles proposed the idea of selfitis as a new mental disorder. Essentially, the widespread obsession with selfies is derived from a need for fulfillment or in some cases to combat self-esteem issues.


“[Selfitis is] the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy,” the article says.


Selfies are not inherently bad, yet the dare-factor of selfie culture is leading to many perilous consequences. As society continues to absorb the Insta-worthy mentality, these dangerous selfies will continue.


So next time you consider snapping a one-of-a-kind picture with a wild predator, consider if it really is worth losing a limb.


By Maddie Coggins

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