In this day and age of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, you can’t go to any tourist destination without witnessing dozens of people posing with their selfie-sticks. Those iconic pictures of you holding up the leaning tower of Pisa or pretending to fall into the Grand Canyon are adorable and I’m sure that all of your followers are thrilled to see them, but what happens when it goes too far? People are making headlines all over the world for taking selfies in insensitive or even dangerous situations, sometimes resulting in their death. To keep our readers safe and on the good side of the law (and people’s feelings,) we’ve compiled a list of times where you’ll want to keep your camera packed away.
1. Do not take selfies at memorials, cemeteries, holy sites
Places such as the holocaust memorial, the 9/11 memorial or veteran cemeteries should be absolutely off-limits for selfies. These places are tragic reminders of lives lost and should be respected as such. You can feel free to take pictures of the setting to commemorate your time spent experiencing such a site, but it is more than disrespectful to see a smiling selfie under such sad circumstances. Think of how you’d feel if you saw a bunch of people smiling for a picture by your lost loved one’s name.
2. Do not take selfies with non-domesticated animals
If you are near a wild animal, especially a large or dangerous one, your thoughts should not be to grab your camera and smile for a picture. Respect wild animals and their unpredictability. In the time that you spend fumbling with your camera and posing for your shot, the animal could be approaching for an attack unbeknownst to you. Many people have been mauled to death because they were taking selfies with dangerous animals in the background. On the flip side, your intrusion into an animal’s life could endanger it and get it killed, so tread carefully when you’re dealing with anything that’s alive.
3. Do not take selfies while engaging in focused activities
If you need a good chuckle, look up some Youtube videos of people taking selfies while they’re walking or running or biking. It always ends hilariously. Why? Because you can’t focus on running or riding a bike if you’re focusing on smiling into the camera lens. And some things, such as driving, require your full and undivided attention. If you absolutely have to take a picture when you’re out taking a drive, stop your car and then snap away. So stay safe and keep your eyes on the road or the sidewalk instead of on your camera!
4. Do not take selfies that force you to become a daredevil
It’s like some people scour the planet looking for the best places to serve as the next backdrop for pictures of themselves, but the perfect shot isn’t worth you risking your life. If you have to hang off of the edge of cliff or climb an unsafe structure to get the best viewpoint or if your shot requires you to stand in the middle of the street, it is not worth taking. Think about if the picture is so important to you that it be the last one you ever take. Chances are you’ll agree that no selfie is worth risking your safety.
5. Do not take cliché selfies
Instagram is rife with cliche selfies. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the world is tired of seeing things like duck face or your outfit picture taken in the mirror before you head out for a night on the town. And as fun as these pictures are to take, please spare us from having to see your feet in the sand or the cliche poses in front of landmarks. We’re also not interested in seeing your food shots unless you’re a food reviewed nor do we want to see you and your soul mate jumping for joy in a gorgeous setting. If you want to take a selfie to remember your visit, keep it nice and simple and avoid the over-done trends.
6. Do not spend your entire vacation taking selfies!
This may be the most important rule of them all: thou shall not waste all day taking and uploading the “perfect” selfie. We promise Instagram will still be there when you get back so try to live in the moment and enjoy your trip instead of needing to share every second of it with your followers.