If there ever was a reason to stop taking selfies, death would be a pretty compelling one. The Russian government just launched a campaign to warn its citizens of the life-threatening dangers of taking a selfie. While you and I might be satisfied with the bathroom-mirror selfie, the gym selfie, the we-fie with friends, the ‘Oh this ol’ dress?’ selfie and the like, in Russia they apparently do things differently.
This campaign comes in response to a series of accidents that resulted from people trying to take selfies in high-risk situations and then accidently dying. You read that right.
“Unfortunately we have noted recently that the number of accidents caused by lovers of self-photography is constantly increasing,” Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to Russia’s interior minister, told AFP. “Since the beginning of the year we are talking about some hundred cases of injuries for sure.”
They’re hoping that safe-selfie pamphlet along with selfie-safety classes in schools will prevent further deaths and injuries. So what kind of selfies were these Russian teens taking? Well, one woman from Moscow accidentally shot herself in the head while taking a selfie with a loaded gun. Teenagers have been electrocuted while trying to take selfies from the top of a train.
The pamphlet show stick figures with selfie stick near dangerous animals, on top of electrical wires, in front of oncoming trains and other places these crazy kids might feel a selfie coming on. The image with a stick figure in front of an oncoming train has a caption that reads: “A selfie on the railway tracks is a bad idea if you value your life.” “A cool selfie could cost you your life,” the leaflet starkly warns. The Ministry has also released a public safety video that includes risky shots taken by smartphone users.
As crazy as this sounds, I can see the appeal – not that I am urging anyone to go out and do something so dangerous. It’s silly and stupid, but it’s also the equivalent of a ‘dare’ and to show just how ‘cool’ you are. That said I would smack the shit out of my child if I see them doing that. But then again, I’m just an old grown-up. I do hope that this campaign is successful and doesn’t backfire with kids taking more selfies just to ‘rebel’ against what they’re be told not to do. Good luck Russia!
People familiar with other dangerous selfie situations have been urged to submit their ideas to the ministry through an online form.