Earlier this week, a story on Uproxx (via Condé Nast Traveler) really resonated with readers: For all the #teamdryland hype, sharks have only been responsible for eight deaths worldwide this year — while selfies are on the hook for 12.
That means that selfies are significantly more dangerous than sharks. (Sure, not everyone goes in the ocean, but not everyone takes selfies, either.)
The act of taking a photo of oneself is particularly perilous in Russia — where deaths are out of control (Al Jazeera cites the 2015 Russian selfie death toll as “dozens,” but those numbers are tough to verify). In January, two men in the Ural Mountains blew themselves up while taking a selfie with a hand grenade. In July, a woman accidentally shot herself in the head mid-selfie (she survived).
As a response, the Russian Interior Ministry produced a selfie safety pamphlet which is full of sage wisdom, worth translating here:
We would prefer it if you didn’t take a selfie with a lioness. Or maybe that’s a tiger. Or a Puma? It doesn’t matter. In the end, we’d rather you not photograph yourself with any big cat. Please.
Please don’t take a selfie on train tracks. You see, there is a train rapidly approaching and it could hit you. Also, you aren’t using that selfie stick correctly. You’re going to get hit and not even get a proper photo of it.
Please do not take a selfie with a gun. That is very reckless and you don’t seem particularly adept at handling a firearm or a camera.
Also, please do not take a selfie hanging off of a roof from a TV antenna. This is odd on a number of levels because this activity is rather mundane and doesn’t feel like something you need to document.
We thought this one was self-explanatory, but please refrain from taking a selfie while jumping in front of a light rail train. There are numerous parts of this decision that you should scrutinize further from the comfort of your hospital bed.
Please do not take a selfie while falling down a cliff during a rock slide. This is a high-stakes situation which you would be wise to do your best to mitigate; rather than pausing for a photograph.
C’mon? Why do you need to lean out of your car window to take a selfie of you driving? Is this a moment that friends and family will react to on an emotional level? Or are you perhaps seeking connection in the wrong places? Maybe you should just pull over, call up an old friend, and ask them to coffee.
Goddammit, guys! Don’t take a selfie standing in the middle of the road! Those cars don’t even have drivers! (They fell out while taking selfies!) Also, why are you being so defiant with your posture? Why do you have so much to prove with your selfie?
The f*ck? Get down from there! What are you doing? There’s literally NO logical reason for you to be taking a selfie perched on an electrical transformer!
For a slightly more accurate and substantially more grim translation, please see the version below (via: 3Prime):
Thank you, Russian Interior Ministry. It’s sad that your countrymen, our countrymen, and people around the world need this advice. But we do. You have done a great service here today.