This evening I was watching the news, an unusual event for me, and there was a story about people who have been killed taking selfies at beauty spots. It seems to be becoming a serious problem as more and more travellers seek the perfect photo for their social media feed.
I have written about this before. I have complained about the bad manners of these people who are so self-absorbed that they don’t care if they get in the way of other people and spoil their view. I understand people wanting to get a photo to share with family and friends but it has gone way past that. Now people want extreme photos and they are taking unacceptable risks to get them. There have been more than 200 deaths involving people taking selfies between 2014-2018. I don’t see that number going down.
They climb guard rails and teeter on the edge of cliffs just for the sake of a stupid photo which may end up being the last one ever taken of them. Don’t they understand that barriers are there for a reason?
It seems that these days the photo opportunity is more important than the actual experience of being in a special place. Do these people really appreciate what they are seeing? Do they even look?
I recall years ago visiting Uluru (Ayers Rock) in central Australia. At sunrise and sunset, the rock appears to change colour so people would all go to photograph it. Now I imagine that the line of photographers probably all stand with their backs to the beautiful sight so they can photograph themselves “watching” the event. Most of them probably miss it but at least they have a nice photo to Instagram.
Another disturbing trend involving social media is the increasing number of people performing stunts for social media channels who are killed or injured when they go wrong.
Does using a smartphone make people stupid?