It is no secret that we are a culture obsessed with social media and selfies. But that culture has now cost one man his life. Hideto Ueda, a 66-year-old Japanese man, recently visited the Taj Mahal, but reports say that he was attempting to take a selfie with a friend at the Royal Gate of the mausoleum when they fell.
Ueda immediately lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital later in the day. According to the BBC, his friend only suffered a fractured leg.
“He was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital but he could not be revived,” Sushant Gaur, a police official in Agra, told AFP-Jiji. “A postmortem was carried out and the cause of death is heart attack. We have duly informed the Japanese Embassy about the unfortunate incident.”
There has been a growing number of incidents surrounding the fad known as “selfies,” or taking a self portrait with a mobile device. Because 74% of internet users interact on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — and often post pictures of themselves, too — the search for the perfect selfie is now taking a dangerous turn.
In fact, the incident at the Taj Mahal has not been the only deadly one, either. T
Back in May of this year, a Romanian teen electrocuted himself trying to take a selfie on top of a train. In 2014, a Mexican man was trying to take a selfie with a gun when he accidentally shot himself in the head. Also in 2014, a woman was taking selfies and posting them to Facebook before she died in a car accident.
In the wake of these unfortunate events, governments and other agencies are launching public information campaigns in order to make people aware of the dangers of selfies. A Huffington Post report said that selfies had people “pushing the boundaries of safety and decorum, whether by dangling from a skyscraper or posing with live explosives.”
Because of these dangers, Russia has launched a campaign with posters around major cities. This came after a sting of incidents including a woman shooting herself, a girl dangling off a bridge, and two men pulling the pin on a hand grenade.