Picture This! Selfie Dangers

Distracted driving steals lives every year—and four percent of drivers admit to taking selfies while driving.

Picture This! Selfie Dangers

LeBron James (basketball), Shawn White (snowboard) and Caroline Wozniacki (tennis) have one thing in common: They’re notorious selfie-takers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking selfies. In fact, as Dr. Oz has pointed out, sometimes they’re downright diagnostic. If you or a friend notices you have yellowed eyes, you could uncover hepatitis or another liver disease, and seeing yellowish spots on your eyelids, called xanthelasma, can alert you to fat deposits that may indicate a risk for heart disease. But selfies can be health hazards, too.

From 2011 to 2017, over 250 people worldwide died while taking a selfie. According to a San Francisco research firm, the average age of victims was 22; 75 percent were male. People have fallen off buildings and cliffs, drowned in rivers, been hit by trains and even electrocuted; one Russian was even mauled by a wounded bear. Selfies can harm other folks, too: In the U.S., a 2015 survey found four percent of drivers admit to taking selfies while driving.

Some places have had to legislate against selfies: In Mumbai, there are 16 “no selfie zones” and the BBC reports that Russia started a “Safe Selfie” campaign with the catch-phrase, “Even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being.”

So, let’s stick with selfies that are safe and delightful. Did you know there are a lot of online breastfeeding selfies, called brelfies (on Instagram as #brelfies)? No one’s going to get hurt doing that—as long as you don’t drop the phone on the baby!

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