People are losing their lives in the name of narcissism – here are our tips on how to stay alive out there
Selfies have become an extreme sport. Given that there's scientific proof that we actually get a dopamine hit each time a like rolls in, it's no wonder that we're looking for more ways to break the internet (or at least our minute online social circles).
A Russian woman accidentally shot herself taking a selfie, the US Forest service had to warn people not to pose with black bears and people have died taking selfies driving really fast on motorways. We're losing lives in the pursuit of likes.
With this in mind, here's our guide to taking a completely safe selfie.
IS THERE AN ENORMOUS WILD ANIMAL NEARBY?
If you're about to take a selfie but you're under the impression that you're in close proximity to a shark, a giant snake or a lion, don't take the selfie and just get out of there. While it's a nailed on guarantee that a danger snap with a predator is gonna get the likes in, it'll be a shame if you end up dinner before you've hit "share".
ARE YOU ON TOP OF A HIGH SPEED TRAIN?
Forget the selfie, just hold on tight. Now isn't the time to be thinking about Instagram, just grab whatever piece of steel you can and watch those knuckles whiten while you hold on for dear life. People have died trying to take train-related selfies – three Indian kids were hit by a speeding train while they posed on the tracks and a Spanish man was electrocuted as he climbed wire to try and get a selfie on top of a moving train. Taking a selfie on a train, in a carriage is probably still absolutely fine.
SAY NO TO TAKING A SELFIE AT THE WHEEL WHILE DRIVING REALLY FAST
A recipe for complete and utter disaster. Texting in a car is dicing with death, let alone posing for a photo. Everyone who's driven in a car has driven fast. It's what cars do. It's not even that impressive that you're driving. I could take a picture of myself in a stationary vehicle, caption it #drivingreallyfuckingfast and you'd have no idea that I'd just be parked up by the kerb.
In fact if you need to take a car selfie, just do that. No-one will know and you'll have plenty of opportunity to lock in on your perfect pout. Courtney Sanford was just 32 when she took a photo of herself listening to "Happy" by Pharrell. Seconds later she crashed into a truck and her car burst into flames. Remember, the world is a sadistic ball of rock that loves irony – it will do everything in its power to make it happen.
IF YOU'RE A COUPLE IN LOVE CLOSE TO A CLIFF EGDE, DON'T TAKE A SELFIE
To be quite honest, the world (my news feed) could do with fewer photos of couples looking absolutely delighted with themselves in fantastic places, accompanied by captions like "blessed". That doesn't mean that I don't want you to stay alive. If you're a happy couple standing really close to a cliff edge, walk away. Gusts of wind, intrusive seagulls and slippery rocks are all things that can lead to a downfall. A Polish couple fell to a tragic death in Portugal after heading to a cliff edge in pursuit of a selfie. Learn and live.
IS A NATURAL DISASTER HAPPENING? PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND GET OUT OF THERE
This guy got away with it – he actually ran towards a tornado for what is an admittedly pretty decent selfie. But he seems experienced at running into the outback headfirst into lethal spirals of air. You probably aren't. If you think that a volcano, earthquake or hurricane is happening, stop thinking about Twitter FFS; there'll be plenty of more opportunities for you to score some favs, but considerably less if you're mummified by lava.
MAKE SURE ABSOLUTELY NONE OF YOUR POOS ARE ANYWHERE IN SHOT
It's happened to the best of us. A cute little bathroom selfie before you go out. But wait, all your friends ask, what's that? Is that a shit? Of course, not everyone on your Facebook is actually your friend and at least two of them have screengrabbed your new profile picture and headed to Reddit, where you and your fresh shit make the front page. You could die of embarrassment. Clear any dangerzones.