Why hike at all if you can’t take a selfie from the most dangerous cliff for your followers to admire? I’m being sarcastic, of course, but it seems more and more Australians are taking this approach seriously. According to a recent study, Australia has had the highest number of selfie-related deaths in the past decade, specifically deaths caused by falling off cliffs while taking selfies.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) states that 3,747 people died from accidental falls in 2021. Compared to the data from previous years, this was an increasing trend over the last ten years. In fact, this is the highest number of unintentional cliff falls since 2012, when ABS first began collecting data. “Death from falls is the leading external cause of death,” writes ABS, adding that “falls were the 12th leading cause of death in women.”
The iO Foundation conducted a study more closely related to selfie deaths. According to this study, between January 2008 and July 2021, 379 people were killed worldwide while taking selfies. India remains at the top with 100 deaths, the US second with 39 and Australia fifth with 15 selfie-related deaths.
Of course, the increasing number of deaths from accidental falls was a cause for concern. Of course some of you could blame social media for this and I would agree. dr Rachael Murrihy also agrees. The director of the Kidman Center at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, claims that this is precisely why fall deaths are increasing in Australia. Speaking to The Herald Sun, Dr. Murrihy:
“It’s a normal part of youth to take risks, and they take risks because it helps them shape their identity and figure out who they are. Unfortunately, TikTok gives them a forum for that, but it’s not the healthy risk-taking we’d like to see in teenagers.”
Unfortunately, we’ve reported quite a few selfie-related accidents and fatalities over the last few years. Not only do the people taking selfies get hurt or die, but also the bystanders who get pushed by unsuspecting selfie-takers. It’s certainly concerning that this is a growing trend, so I’ll take this opportunity to remind you to always be aware of your surroundings and teach your children to do the same. And don’t cross the security fences and ignore the signs while climbing and hiking. They exist for a reason.