As innocent as social media seems, it can be pretty deadly at times. To wit, a St. Petersburg teen reportedly fell to her death after trying to take a selfie atop a railway bridge.
Xenia Ignatyeva, 17, climbed to the top of a railway bridge in Krasnogvardeysky for a selfie that would, quote, give “the most dramatic effect.” Instead, she slipped and fell 30 feet. In an attempt to save herself, she reached out for a cable and was electrocuted to the tune of 1,500 volts.
Xenia was at the bridge with friend Oksana Zhankova, also 17. After an anonymous caller reported the incident, emergency services found Oksana crouched near Xenia’s body, “paralysed with shock.”
Selfie-taking has become something of an extreme social sport lately. Not only have people been grievously injured (or killed) by selfie trends like “planking,” selfies taken on top of bridges, near trains, or in other dangerous locations often go viral and seemingly encourage competition among other selfie fanatics.
Psychologist Martin Voigt, of Munich University, opined that the location and theme of extreme selfies isn’t as important as “the component behind it – they play with danger.”
Some, like Russian stunt artist Kirill Oreshkin, could be said to embody that philosophy. The Moscow native has made a name for himself online with photos from some of his city’s highest points. Naturally, he dangles from these heights without the safety of a harness.
Selfies have also been dubiously linked to mental and emotional disorders by a handful of publications, though our investigation into that dimension of the selfie trend didn’t yield much aside from one psychologist’s opinion and a satirical article.
Do you think that selfie-taking is becoming more dangerous, or is it merely a unique set of thrill-seekers who risk life and limb for photos of “the most dramatic effect?” Will selfie deaths become more common? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.