The country where a lot more people die taking selfies

Technically Incorrect: A new study points to more than half of selfie-related deaths happening in just one country. Guess where.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Please be careful, ladies.

NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

The selfie has overtaken the kiss, the hug and the hello as the single daily action most necessary to human mental health.

If you don't take a selfie a day, your Facebook followers will think you're dead.

There's a slight problem, however, created by that need for social recognition. Some people actually die trying to take selfies.

Some people have taken to posing with guns. (You can see the potential problem, I'm sure.) Others take daredevil selfies and meet a bitter end. Still others merely pose, slip and fall.

One country endures more selfie-related deaths than all the others by a wide margin. India accounted for more than half of the total, according to a study conducted by the Indraprastha Institute of Information in Delhi and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The researchers noted that of 127 deaths by selfie-taking between March 2014 and September 2016, 76 occurred in India.

After India, the selfie death rate slows abruptly. The next country on the list was Pakistan with nine, followed by the US with eight and Russia with six.

The researchers segmented the data into all sorts of factors -- eight deaths were caused by falling from heights, 12 involved being hit by a train, 15 involved electrocution.

They also looked at selfies posted to Twitter and discovered men were more prone to risky selfies than women. Are men just a little too (pea)cocky?

The Indian government has requested that states create selfie-danger zones at tourist sites. Some Indian states even have tourism police teams that monitor safe behavior among those who might lose their bearings.

The researchers make the somewhat obvious point that there's a great clamor for the emotional uplift of Facebook likes. But is there any evidence that people in India are more desperate to be loved than those anywhere else in the world?

It's true that the Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi is an obsessively keen selfie-taker. But he's not the only world leader desperate for selfie-adoration. President Obama is even known to employ a selfie-stick.

So why India? I suspect more research will be needed to answer that.

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