The Russian government has published an official guide on how to take a selfie without endangering your life. As you can see from the helpful photos, some selfie "don'ts" include taking a selfie while holding a gun, climbing an electrical tower, standing in the vicinity of a wild animal, or hanging off of a rooftop antenna.
While it's tempting to laugh at the guidelines (that animal one, though...), the sad truth is that they're not entirely uncalled for. The website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs notes that (opens in new tab) the pamphlet was made in response to the increasing amount of deaths and injuries that have occurred by people trying to take unique selfies.
"When a person is trying to take a picture of themselves, they become distracted, lose their balance, don't look around and forget that they're in danger," the website reads. And they have a point.
Last summer, a Polish couple fell to their death (opens in new tab) off the edge of a cliff while on a dream holiday in Portugal due to an attempt to take the perfect selfie. In April 2014, a Russian teenwas electrocuted (opens in new tab) and also fell to her death while attempting a cool selfie shot on top of a railway bridge. In April 2014, an American woman crashed her car (opens in new tab) just seconds after she posted a selfie onto Facebook with the caption "The happy song makes me so HAPPY."And those are only a few examples out of dozens of tragic, avoidable incidents.
To quote a popular Russian saying, "It would be funny if it weren't so sad."
My writing has regularly appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Salon, VICE, Guernica, The New York Observer, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Esquire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and many more publications.
I was previously the Senior News Editor at Best Life Online and the Viral Content Editor in the Newsroom of Hearst Digital Media. My portfolio consists of a vast and diverse body of work that includes personal essays, lifestyle articles, breaking news posts, and viral content. My areas of expertise, however, are Russia, sex and relationships, and mental wellness.
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