Cake
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    • People falling from heights while trying to take the "perfect" selfie is unfortunately, not uncommon in our social media age. There have been numerous reports of people falling to their deaths over the years, all while trying to take selfies from precarious positions. The latest happened in Yosemite National Park where an Indian couple fell about 245m while trying to take a selfie.

      What makes this story standout though, is what the female victim posted on her Instagram account recently.

      "Is our life worth just one photo?"

      It seems rather sad, maybe ironic, that she would then lose her life while trying to take a photo.

      This reminds me of a recent post by @DallasNagata which touched on the pressures of creating for social media. The couple were undoubtedly intending to take this selfie to be posted on their social media accounts, so it begs the question - would the couple, and everyone else who died under similar circumstances, have taken the risks they did if social media didn't exist? Or perhaps more realistically, would they have taken the risks if they weren't subconsciously pressured into creating such content for their social media followers? Tourists take photos all the time, but perhaps the average tourist wouldn't take unnecessary risks like social media influencers would.

      It's worrying that despite all the talk about mental health and the dangers of social media addiction, incidents like this still happen.

    • I wish there was some way to compare how many people died doing unsafe things before and after social media. Like, standing on the edge of a lava field with an active flow near us wasn't the smartest thing to do because there was a risk of the shelf collapsing into the ocean, but we did it for photography - not for a 'selfie'. Photo by John Hook:

      My Lava Kiss image is technically a self portrait, as it's a photo of us taken from a tripod). Here's the photo immediate prior, of us standing about ten feet from an active lava flow. But we were accompanied by experts and very mindful of our environment.

      However, when taking risks, I do still try to be as safe as possible. I have a friend who died from falling off a risky cliff trail here in Hawaii, and he was a very experienced hiker, but accidents happen even when you aren't taking photos. I definitely agree a life isn't worth losing for a photo (though if I'm ever in a life-losing situation, I hope I go out taking photos that outlive me), but people were cliff-sitting for photos long before Instagram became a thing. I guess the problem is more people are now exposed to dangerous ideas for the glamour of it all.

    • I bet she would say no, she was conscious for quite a few seconds before her journey ended. What a horrible mind fuck to know what is happening and how it could have been avoided, the regret, guilt, horror, and panic I hope made her unconscious before the end.

      I am sure many extreme adventure folks have come to terms with the possible lethal nature of what they are doing. The "look at me" culture is fascinating in its many times total oblivious concern with anything around them.

      I see a difference in people taking high risk to document something of large importance like war, nature or reporting etc.

      The selfie of the selfie?

    • I see a difference in people taking high risk to document something of large importance

      I had to ask myself if it was important enough to get a shot looking down a moulin to climbers hundreds of feet below. Worth it to put my life on a rope secured by ice screws in questionable, soft surface ice? Nope. I photographed another photographer instead. I learned a lot about risk management on that trip.

    You've been invited!