Aurora Sheffel was having the time of her young life. She's 14, she's her family's source of joy, a straight A high student, and she just made it to the varsity school cheerleading squad. And with the spring break on and with so many things to celebrate, she was just so excited to hit the beach with her friends. So she did.
And now, she's dead. No more exams to ace, A's to earn, no more cheers, jumps, splits, throws to experience for cheerleading, no more joy to bring to her family. Worst of all, that beautiful, young, and promising life ended just because of a selfie.
The girl from Eugene, Oregon died after a log she and a few friends were standing on while taking their selfie ( or "groupie") shifted in the surf. Her two friends were able to jump off the log but Sheffel failed to do so. Her body was trapped under the log. Bystanders came to her rescue, pulled her off from under the log. She was given CPR, and brought to the hospital. She later died there.
Her family is heartbroken by her unexpected death. People affected by her sudden and senseless death donated generously to a fund site to raise money for her funeral expenses. The Oregon State police said the tragedy happened during a heavy receding tide. The authorities warned the public to educate the young on the dangers of the beach.
What the police may have failed to include in the warning is to educate the public,-the young especially- on the dangers of taking selfies as well. Because just as in the case of the 14- year old cheerleader, selfies can kill.
It is a cause for alarm that death by selfies are becoming a common thing. Priceonomics found out that 49 people have died as a result of some accident involving taking selfies since 2014. The average age of the victim is 21 years old. Such is the alarming increase in deaths caused by taking selfies that a CBS article says that last year alone, more people died from selfies than shark attacks. And many more people have been injured just by taking their own picture.
Some of the deaths caused by distracted photo takers include falling off cliffs, crashing cars, being hit by the train, and shooting themselves while posing with guns. Imagine, guns don't kill people- selfies do! Due to the alarming and perhaps unacceptable rise in deaths by selfies, drastic measures have been taken by other countries. In Mumbai, it is no longer legal to take selfies after 19 deaths by selfies in India. Pamplona officials have banned taking selfies during the Running of the Bulls. New York has become the first state to ban taking "tiger selfies" for obvious reasons.
It is also interesting to note that while girls take more selfies than boys, research shows that 75% of selfie victims are men.
Selfies can not only kill people, regardless if it's accidentally, but unfortunately, it also kills another important thing, next to the value of life: the joy of experiences. People have become more obsessed with proving to others especially on social media that they had experiences, rather than just living the moment, being "in the moment" and appreciating things as they occur. It has come to a point that people can not admire beautiful scenery without inserting themselves into them via pictures, or selfies.
Taking too many selfies not only kills the experience, but also kills the purpose of memories. Rather than remembering experiences with their hearts, minds and souls, people rely on pictures, selfies to remember their experiences by. Maybe it's time for a "selfie-less" society? And let’s not get into those annoying selfie-sticks…