The chilling visual of a Hyderabad man’s getting hit by a running train while trying to take selfie with it has shocked everyone. The video of the mishap has been shared thousands of time and most people are calling it a stupid act. However, quite shockingly, this is not the first case of selfie-related accident. While the man was mysteriously able to escape death in this accident, there have been examples when the quest for a perfect selfie resulted in death – mainly of youngsters. In the wake of the Hyderabad selfie mishap, a question has again come to the fore – Is selfie craze only stupidity or something else? Well, it may sound surprising, but obsession with selfies is a proven psychiatric disorder with the disease named as – ‘selfitis’.
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Thiagarajar School of Management (TSM) in Tamil Nadu have confirmed the existence of the disease and developed the ‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’ which can be used to assess its severity. Findings published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction say there are three levels of selfitis – borderline, acute, chronic.
– Borderline: Taking selfie at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.
– Acute: Taking selfies at least three times a day and posting each one on social media.
– Chronic: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.
Well, this was about the disease, what makes the matter scary is that India has recorded most number of selfie deaths so far.
Selfie related deaths in India
As per a study by Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D) and Carnegie Mellon University in USA, at least 127 people had lost their lives in dangerous selfie attempts till November 2016. In India, 76 deaths were recorded and the number may have risen now. Like the current Hyderabad selfie case, most of these were hit by trains. After India, Pakistan was placed at the second spot after nine ‘selfie-related’ deaths in two years, followed by USA with eight deaths. The report ‘Me, Myself and My Killfie’, highlighted deaths were maximum in cases where people attempted to take selfies at a great height, and accidentally fell off.
The second highest deaths were due to drowning. “Clicking selfies has become a symbol of self-expression and often people portray their adventurous side by uploading crazy selfies,” the report observed. Another dangerous locations the report found were near railway tracks and while driving a vehicle.
The study further observed that women took more selfies than men. However, deaths were higher among men, with at least 75.5 per cent cases related to them. Also, most of the victims who died at dangerous locations were aged less than 24 years.
Watch | Hyderabad MMTS Selfie stunt gone wrong
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“We are also familiar with the popular “selfie” phenomenon. Recognized as the “word of the year” by Oxford dictionary in 2013, the “selfie” is defined as a “photograph taken of oneself, and uploaded to a social media website.”
“In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of selfies posted on OSM. However, one particularly disturbing trend that has emerged lately is that of clicking dangerous selfies; proving to be so disastrous that during the year 2015 alone, there have been more deaths caused due to selfies than shark attacks all over the world . A selfie-related death can be defined as a death of an individual or group of people that could have been avoided had the individual(s) not been taking a selfie,” the study by IIIT Delhi had said.