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Dying to Take a Selfie!

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Are you dying to take a ‘selfie’ that will shock your friends and make you popular? You could be literally putting your life on line….writes Bikram Vohra

Teenagers taking a rain-drenched selfie in New DelhiThe ‘extreme selfie’ culture, regrettably, is catching on and more young people are becoming obsessed with the challenge of the adrenalin rush.

We live a time when the netherworld of the NET is taking over lives and destroying both domestic tranquillity and the work ethic. It is also creating a rent in the fabric of human relationships leading to isolation, depression and extreme self absorption. This self absorption of sharing every absurd and trivial detail of our daily grind and living vicariously through this bonfire of the vanities is dangerous and we do not realise it.

Are so many of us existing in quiet despair and so in need of attention that we will go to incredibly great lengths to get it including risking life. Last month a Japanese tourist fell on the steps of The Taj Mahal monument while taking a selfie. He was so busy concentrating on himself and his image that he stumbled, fell and had a heart attack. Two week later a young man in Texas tried to take a selfie with a gun to his temple for more effect when he ostensibly uploaded it. What was loaded was the gun and it went off killing him instantly. Two weeks later another teenage decided to shoot himself with that pogo stick gizmo while balanced on the ninth floor of an apartment in Vologda, Russia. He clearly thought the view would be good and would impress his friends but all they got were his remains when the rope broke and he plummeted to his death.

A recent newsbreak announces most bleakly that more people die taking selfies than they do from shark attacks. One is not sure what exactly the point is in this comparison but with selfies moving swiftly from benign self-indulgence to a sort of competitive madness the risk has also intensified. So far this year, 12 people have lost their lives while posing for a shot. Several more have been injured.

VANCOUVER, ) -- A model takes a selfie of her make-up during the 2014 International Make-Up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) in Vancouver, Canada, Aug. 9, 2014. (Xinhua/Sergei Bachlakov)

Psychologists believe the hunger for appreciation and comment on social sites and media fuels this desire to ‘go for it.’

Extreme selfies like extreme sports are the new high and even adults are not immune to it. In one bizarre incident a young girl in Romania climbed atop a train to take her selfie, touched an electric overhead wire and burst into flames. In Moreno in the US a bride to be got into a fatal accident when she and her friend made an effort to take photos at high speed and lost control of their vehicle ramming into an oncoming car. In another tragic incident a woman in Johannesburg took her fiancé to Northcliffe Hill, the second highest point in the city, perched on a rock close to the edge, slipped and fell to her death.

People now take selfies while para-gliding, bungee jumping, leaning out of helicopters, on top of mountains or with wild animals like the man who took one with a snake, got bitten and that  was his last shot.