We used to be “the me generation.” Now perhaps we’re the selfie generation – the generation that exalts me, my selfie and I. One article on Botox treatment called ours the “selfie culture.”
But what happens when selfies – photographs taken by you of yourself – can actually endanger you or others? For a few years now I have been saving stories about people getting hurt or killed because of their selfies.
Lightning killed a man who was using a selfie stick … in a lightning storm. Then there was the man who endured serious damage to his hand because he tried to take a selfie with a snake, and the snake bit him.
Cynics talk about the “Darwin Awards.” These unofficial awards (never really handed out) go in theory to those unfortunate souls who die because of their own stupidity, and the cynics are glad that the dead are no longer in the gene pool. That is obviously a sub-Christian view of people.
Any premature death seems senseless, but it’s tragic to think of people risking their lives just to capture a picture of themselves. And even more tragic is when selfies result in death or harm to others or to animals.
Recently, in Argentina, a baby dolphin died because a crowd at the beach passed around the dolphin for various selfies, as written up in news.com.au (Jan. 27). The reports adds that that was not the first time a dolphin was so killed.
How selfish. Just to get some selfies, they end up killing these beautiful creatures. But selfies can be dangerous for the humans taking them – when they abandon common sense, which is not as common today as it should be.
In Maine, wsch6.com (Aug. 30, 2015) reports on a car accident caused by someone taking a selfie: “Maine State Police said a driver attempting to take a ‘selfie’ caused a car crash that left multiple people injured. … Police said 29-year-old [name of motorist] was driving with seven passengers when he leaned over to join the photo, ran off the road and into a tree.” Ouch.
Traveller24 (Sept. 19, 2016) reports on a tourist who was trampled to death by an elephant when the man moved closer to it to take pictures (not necessarily selfies): “He provoked the elephant, which charged toward him.”
Mac Slavo writes in sonsoflibertymedia.com (Sept. 18, 2016) about a real “photo bomb” by a Syrian jihadi: “Several reported rebels were sitting together and appeared to be preparing for and celebrating a future attack when one of the men was so excited he just had to take a selfie. He grabs a cell phone off the table, positions for the perfect social media pic and takes a snap shot.”
Apparently the phone he grabbed was a detonator.
Writing for Oddee.com (May 16, 2015), Grace Murano compiled a macabre list of 10 people who died in pursuit of the perfect selfie. Several of them plunged to their deaths because they got too close to a precipice and fell, as did a Polish couple, from a cliff. Taking a selfie does not suspend the law of gravity.
One lady grabbed a live electric wire. One young man was killed in the process of taking a selfie while riding his motorcycle.
None of these deaths need to have happened, and are totally senseless, such as the teenage boy who died in a freak accident while trying to participate in something called “#SelfieOlympics.” He cracked his skull open and bled to death after he fell to the concrete floor head first, trying to get a selfie.
Most of these individuals were young people with their lives ahead of them, but where is their perspective? It’s just a photograph, for heaven’s sake.
I have no problems with selfies per se. I take some myself, especially when I’m holding my little grandson. I’m speaking primarily against self-absorbed, dangerous selfies. Life is too precious a gift to throw away for a picture.
I believe life has purpose and meaning because it is a gift from the Creator, and to Him we shall all give an account for our lives. Our physical life is supremely valuable, but Jesus asked, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole word and forfeit his soul?” Your soul is worth more than the whole world.
C. S. Lewis once said: “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”
In short, we only have one life … on this earth. Please don’t waste it trying to get that perfect selfie.
Article posted with permission from Jerry Newcombe