Death By Selfie
Thump, thump, thump; you can hear your heart pounding in your chest as you climb over the barricade. You wipe the sweat from your brow as you lower yourself down the face of the cliff. Your friend leans over the railing to take a photo of your death-defying pose; you flash a smile as adrenaline courses through your veins. But then your fingers begin to slip, you call out to your friend, continuing to slip further; until splat.
The photo of a lifetime; risking your life for the ultimate image; taunting death for a one-in-a-million photograph. But those shots are not simple poses--they’re life-threatening moments. One misstep means that you could suffer the same fate as the over 250 people who have died or been seriously injured from trying to get that surreal story.
Recently, a teen fell to his death in Yosemite trying to recreate a photo from social media. Let that sink in; Someone died, because he wanted a cool photo for Instagram. This kid was neither a professional photographer in need of an amazing shot to make ends meet, nor was he an expert rock climber challenging himself to a risky climb; he was a college student visiting a friend on vacation. People, both young and old, are gambling with their lives for these amazing photos they see shot by professionals.
But he’s not the only one who has died from these dangerous shots. Others see people on the internet walking out onto ledges and dangling from cliffs, and they think it’s easy to do the same thing. Imagine putting your life in jeopardy, jumping off of that ledge, and living. Your inner adrenaline junkie thrives on this, and the feeling you get every time you relive that moment.
We so desperately need that one extra like that we are willing to go to the extreme. Craving the attention of not only our peers we go to absurd lengths to be deemed worthy of recognition. We are in a constant search for validation, our blind need to be liked makes that 600 ft drop not appear as deadly.
Here’s the thing: If you really want that image that looks like you risked your life, use photoshop. A photo from behind the barrier will be just as beautiful, the memories will be just as vibrant, plus you’ll still be there to recount the stories.