PSA: Don’t Fall Off a Cliff When Trying to Take a Photo

Seriously, be careful out there

When it comes to getting a truly special photo, it’s worth it to go out of your way and take some chances. However, no picture is worth dying for, something of which we’re once again reminded as another person has reportedly died trying to get the right picture angle.

The deceased this time is a hiker in Hong Kong who tumbled 1,300 feet off of a cliff near the popular Lion Rock overlook. I have seen a variety of sites implying that he was taking a selfie, but I haven’t seen any truly reputable outlets getting that specific. It makes for a much grabbier headline, though.

Last year, a story was going around about how 12 people had been killed in "selfie-related" incidents in 2015, so some people are eager to chalk that up as the case here.

It seems like a silly thing to say, “Don’t fall off a cliff,” but chances are, you have felt the desire to do something dangerous because you know it would make a great photo. Maybe you even tried something ill-advised and got the shot. The lure can be strong. Then there’s the fact that the camera itself can be hypnotizing. When you’re looking through a viewfinder—whether it’s optical or electronic—sometimes the rest of the world melts away. Unfortunately, that sometimes includes the cliff you’re standing on.

So, as the weather gets warmer, I humbly ask that you take care of yourselves out there. If you need motivation, consider the fact that, if you die this way, news sites will report that you died “taking a selfie” and that’s a fate no one should suffer. The sad bit is that I have seen a lot of comments calling this person an "idiot," which I don't think is fair, especially since we don't have all of the information. Freak accidents happen and we can't always blame the person involved. The best we can do is be careful and aware of our surroundings.

When it comes to getting a truly special photo, it’s worth it to go out of your way and take some chances. However, no picture is worth dying for, something of which we’re once again reminded as another person has reportedly died trying to get the right picture angle.

The deceased this time is a hiker in Hong Kong who tumbled 1,300 feet off of a cliff near the popular Lion Rock overlook. I have seen a variety of sites implying that he was taking a selfie, but I haven’t seen any truly reputable outlets getting that specific. It makes for a much grabbier headline, though.

Last year, a story was going around about how 12 people had been killed in "selfie-related" incidents in 2015, so some people are eager to chalk that up as the case here.

It seems like a silly thing to say, “Don’t fall off a cliff,” but chances are, you have felt the desire to do something dangerous because you know it would make a great photo. Maybe you even tried something ill-advised and got the shot. The lure can be strong. Then there’s the fact that the camera itself can be hypnotizing. When you’re looking through a viewfinder—whether it’s optical or electronic—sometimes the rest of the world melts away. Unfortunately, that sometimes includes the cliff you’re standing on.

So, as the weather gets warmer, I humbly ask that you take care of yourselves out there. If you need motivation, consider the fact that, if you die this way, news sites will report that you died “taking a selfie” and that’s a fate no one should suffer. The sad bit is that I have seen a lot of comments calling this person an "idiot," which I don't think is fair, especially since we don't have all of the information. Freak accidents happen and we can't always blame the person involved. The best we can do is be careful and aware of our surroundings.

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