by Mike Keating on Thursday, 22nd of October 2015
For years, statistics have emphasized how unlikely swimmers are to die in shark attacks, noting
that bees or falling TVs claim more lives than the menacing ocean dwellers. Now, selfies have
joined the long list of seemingly harmless acts and objects that result in more deaths than sharing
the water with sharks.
According to a report compiled by Mashable, eight people have died worldwide this year
following shark attacks, but 12 have lost their lives in the pursuit of extreme selfies.
A tourist at the Taj Mahal is the most recent victim, dying after he fell down a set of stairs mid-
selfie and hit his head. Other incidents this year have included the death of a man who was gored
by a bull while posing for a selfie during Spain’s annual bull running festival, and a Houston
teenager who accidentally shot himself in the head while snapping a selfie and holding a loaded
Almost 80 years have passed since someone in Massachusetts died of a shark attack, and the
odds of being attacked are 1 in 3.7 million. Selfie deaths, however, are on the rise, and some
tourist attractions are taking precautions.
A park in Denver has closed to visitors after too many attempted to get close-up selfies with wild
bears. The Russian government has launched a “safe selfie” campaign, urging people to avoid
taking selfies in front of trains or near wild animals and reminding them that “Even a million
‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being.”
So while memories of Jaws and its theme song continue to haunt viewers 40 years after the film
hit theaters, the front-facing camera on smartphones is proving to be more deadly.
The Bible has lot to say about a culture that has become so much in love with itself. The Western
World has become obsessively overly invested in the pursuit of personal happiness. It is now
“All about ME”. The difficulty with this is that when we become our own god, when we give our
life’s energy to pleasing self, loving self, worshipping self, serving self – we actually end up in
Those who have given themselves over to “self” whether it is Emperor Nero in the past or a more
modern hedonist like Michael Hutchinson, the lead singer of INXS, the pursuit of “self” end up
like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – forever the promise but never the ultimate
Jesus said that the best life is one that is not invested in loving self as a priority, but of loving
God and others (Mat. 22:37-38).
- Ps Mike