Selfies have become a prominent medium for self-portrayal on social media. Certain social media users go to extreme lengths to click dangerous selfies, which puts their lives at risk. A hundred and twenty seven individuals have died since March 2014 until December 2016 while trying to click selfies out of which 76 deaths were from India alone.
This disturbing trend can be traced to users taking selfies in “dangerous” locations which in turn can be linked to the concept of self representation on online social media. A user will be perceived more bold and adventurous if he posts from a cliff top or in front of a moving train. Such acts of portraying oneself as being a daredevil leads people to go to life threatening lengths to get the perfect selfie. The engrossing hunt for the ultimate display picture momentarily distracts the selfie taker from their surroundings, which might result in tragedies.
Our goal is to get a dataset of all such locations around the globe which are popular selfie spots, but the lives of people clicking selfies at these locations are inadvertently put at risk. We go about collecting this data through an android app we made. Users can report locations along with the type of risk(eg : height related, water related, vehicle related etc) associated with taking a selfie on that location. Using this data, our app nudges the user (through a notification) whenever the user goes near such a location.
As we become more engrossed in mobile phones, and go to extreme lengths while being absorbed in our phones and digital world, it is possible that we lose sense of our physical surroundings. For instance, there were several incidents when people got injured while playing immersive augmented reality games. Tagging such dangerous locations might be helpful for such apps to get relevant warnings from the database.
If you know of a selfie lover or are one yourself, please download this app. Even a single location which you report may prevent many unfortunate deaths. And since what goes around comes around, one day the app might save you from unknowingly putting yourself in danger.