Such is the selfie mania that no occasion is small — or big — enough to not take a selfie. That is what you will realise once you read the story of this 23-year-old woman who fought a tiger with a mere stick, got a bloodied face, managed to scare away the big cat, then before she would seek medical help, took out her phone and clicked a selfie.
It all started when Rupali Meshram, 23, from Maharashtra heard a goat bleat. This was at her house. The girl ran out and saw a tiger attacking the goat. She fought the big cat using a stick. The fight wasn’t going well. The tiger took a swipe at Rupali and her face was injured. But the fact that she stood up her ground — that is before her mother dragged her inside the house — did the trick. The tiger ran away.
After the win against the tiger, it was apparently time for a selfie. Soon after the incident, Rupali took a selfie of her posing with her mother. The selfie of Rupali shows her smiling at the camera while her mother looking a bit dazed about all that had happened a while ago. The mother-daughter suffered minor injuries, for which they sought treatment at a nearby hospital. That is after the selfie. The doctor who treated Rupali praised her for her extraordinary courage and said that she was lucky not to be bitten by the big cat.
In India, the selfie craze has grown big time in the last few years, especially as more and more people have got a smartphone. Nowadays, even our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is fond of clicking selfies. He clicks a few whenever he is out meeting people and students. There is even a Bollywood song about the trend of clicking selfies. While clicking selfies and posting it on social media is not wrong, what is worrying is the extent to which people go these days.
Doctors have recognised selfie addiction as a disorder called “selfitis” and say that people who have this urge to post selfies all the time and share on social media need psychological help.
According to Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths, a study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi in 2017, India sees the highest number of selfie deaths in the world, with people getting into accidents while trying to click selfies in impossible positions. There have been numerous cases of people falling from a peak or drowning while trying to take a selfie.
Mumbai Police, in the year 2016, had to enforce no-selfie zones at 16 places across the city. A recent video from Hyderabad where a man got hit by a train while clicking selfie shocked the nation. The man managed to survive but the video of the incident is a gentle reminder that there’s a thin line between sanity and insanity and clicking cool selfies and selfies that may kill you.