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Selfie Danger: When Snapping Your Picture Goes Too Far

Selfie Danger: When Snapping Your Picture Goes Too Far

The global selfie craze has become dangerous, even deadly.

• A polish couple recently plunged to their deaths after trying to take a selfie on a cliff in Portugal. Their 5 and 6-year olds watched the deadly fall.
• Two women in Iran crashed their car when they tired to capture themselves singing. They escaped with only minor injuries, which they photographed and posted on their Facebook pages shortly after they left the hospital.
• A 14-year-old student in Manila fell down her school stairs and died while she was trying to snap a selfie.
• Tour de France cyclists dangerously dodged spectators who attempted to take selfies with the riders as they pass.

In fact, mental health professionals increasingly are seeing patients who have become obsessed and addicted to taking selfies.

A British teen reportedly attempted suicide after spending up to 10 hours a day taking cellphone photos of himself.

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie, and when I realized I couldn’t, I wanted to die,” the teen told the Daily Mirror.

People with body image disorders are particularly vulnerable to becoming obsessed with selfies as they compulsively attempt to find a flattering angle and the perfect light. A British psychiatrist said that two out of three patients he sees with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have become obsessed with photographing themselves.

Pamela Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center in Boston, says the “cult of the selfie” isn’t all bad.

“As a celebration of real people, selfies can be empowering and even normalizing and reaffirm the drive for authenticity that is the hallmark of social media,” Rutledge says in Psychology Today.

Moderation and balance, as in all things, are important to remember when taking selfies.

If you think your selfie-taking is getting out of hand, try these strategies from Rutledge.

1. Take one less selfie a day.
2. Take selfies that celebrate the work you’ve accomplished, rather than what you look like.
3. Only share selfies with friends, not with the whole world online.

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Read more: Addiction, Conditions, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, , , ,

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Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon, creator of, is an award-winning journalist, avid gardener and fly-fisher. She lives in Northern Virginia on a half acre that always needs weeding. Please visit her on Twitter (@kaplan_lisa) and Facebook (Lisa Kaplan Gordon)


+ add your own
4:34PM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

how narcissistic society has obsessed with beauty, so sad!

8:19AM PDT on Aug 30, 2014

people need to grow up, try to be productive members of society

1:54AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

If its not selfies its something else. So it will continue to be till people wake up and separate themselves from their ego.

1:55PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

selfies..part of what's wrong with the world..self-absorption!

4:08PM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

Taking a selfie on a cliff? Yea that's setting a good example for their 5 & 6 year olds. Imagine how traumatized the children were seeing their parents fall to their deaths.

1:53AM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

We live in a society of narcissists. The least perfect of everyone, by their constant seeking of admiration and attention, for the perfect light, the perfect pose, the perfect picture, are the selfie takers themselves.

11:57AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

I have a friend that will not post a selfie until she has tweaked it. She recently found a make-up app to enhance her looks even more.

We laugh cause she knows how I feel about selfie's and her always wanting to perfect her look.

Maybe, I should share this article with her?'s a thought. :-)

10:37AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

For every invention there is abuse now you have all kind of psychology professional living off the stupidity of the human race. Just to glorify self people are endangering themselves and others, since the invention of hand held gadgets we as humans has thrown thinking and discretion out the window and rather to put ourselves in danger just for own selfishness.

10:27AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Look at me, look at me! Ugh, hate this.
I also take selfies, but I don't post them online nor endanger myself or others to do it. Also, I prefer some one else taking my picture.
It's sad people die or get hurt just to get instant approval by others.

11:12PM PDT on Aug 19, 2014


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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