Too Much Free Time

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
psa, russia, selfies



Russian PSA: Quit It With The Selfies If You Want To Live

from the in-mother-russia-selfie-takes-you dept

The global war on selfies continues on. The first salvo was launched here in America, with many institutions banning selfie sticks for any number of reasons (mostly safety). But our inoculation has failed and the scourge of the selfie has spread to Mother Russia, infecting the youth there at what is apparently insane levels, considering some of the suggestions in this Russian pamphlet detailing how not to die for a sweet selfie.


Now, I don't speak Russian, so I'm relying on the pictures and some translation work done by Gawker here, but the lesson I'm learning from this message from the Russian government is that the Russian people are awesome. Are there, for instance, Russians popping wheelies on their boats while taking selfies? Are they regularly reaching out to pet Siberian tigers with a camera phone in their other hand? Are they train dodging while selfie-ing?!? If so, the Russian youth are exactly my kind of awesome.

The Russian government, of course, disagrees.

That warning comes after a string of recent selfie-related accidents. In May, a 21-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the head in Moscow while taking a selfie holding a pistol. She suffered injuries but survived. In January, two young men died in the Urals while taking a selfie holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out. The mobile phone with the selfie survived as a record. In May, a teenager in the Ryazan region died while attempting to photograph himself as he climbed on a railway bridge and accidentally came into contact with live electrical wires.

“Unfortunately we have noted recently that the number of accidents caused by lovers of self-photography is constantly increasing,” said Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to the interior minister. “Since the beginning of the year we are talking about some hundred cases of injuries for sure.”
And apparently the cure for the Russian selfie scourge is bland government pamphlets that include such memorably punchy lines as, "A selfie in the street? You may catch more than clicks", and, "Selfie on the roof -- it'll be a high fall." If these are the best tools we have in the war on the selfie, it's probably just better that we all admit defeat and embrace the sweet death that will come upon us soon. The only question now is how to get a sweet selfie of myself dying from getting a sweet selfie?


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 9 Jul 2015 @ 2:09pm

    In May, a 21-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the head in Moscow while taking a selfie holding a pistol. She suffered injuries but survived. In January, two young men died in the Urals while taking a selfie holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out. The mobile phone with the selfie survived as a record. In May, a teenager in the Ryazan region died while attempting to photograph himself as he climbed on a railway bridge and accidentally came into contact with live electrical wires.

    First thing that goes through my mind when I read this is: a bunch of people in a nation well known for having a serious collective drinking problem pull the kinds of stupid stunts that start to look like a good idea when you're impaired, and they decide to take pictures of themselves while doing these stupid things that end up killing them... and the problem is the cameras?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 9 Jul 2015 @ 2:12pm

    Dear Russia,

    I know you've had a fondness for Lysenkoism but Darwin was really right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2015 @ 2:14pm

    I believe that the train-dodging thing is a reference to the girl who electrocuted herself on a third rail while trying to get a dramatic selfie.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/russia-attempted-selfie-causes-death-teenager-xenia-ignatyeva-144563 7

    Also, Russia does have a fad of people getting selfies while hanging, one-handed, off of skyscrapers. A PSA under those circumstances actually seems like a fairly measured reaction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2015 @ 2:18pm

    At least people will now have some final moments pictures before receiving the Darwin awards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 9 Jul 2015 @ 2:46pm

    "Any selfies of you looking sad next to evidence of war crimes by Russian troops and paramilitaries in Eastern Ukraine may endanger your body by exposing it to bullets. Russia Today will subsequently publish a forged selfie of you showing how it was all your fault."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 9 Jul 2015 @ 3:06pm

    Why focus on the selfies?

    It looks like real problem is people doing things that are dangerous whether taking a selfie is involved or not. They're awesome things, yes, but dangerous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Greevar (profile), 9 Jul 2015 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Why focus on the selfies?

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Stupid people doing dangerous things are stupid regardless of the selfie. Case closed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jul 2015 @ 1:14am

      Photos or it didn't happen.

      The ability to prove that they did a stupid thing can encourage them to try.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Jul 2015 @ 11:45am

      Life is risk. Selfies are sharing.

      I have a parent who was very much in to one of the more socially accepted forms of daredevilry (There are tall mountains far away from civilization. Mom would act often on the urge to go climb to the top of them). And Mom dragged along a high-powered camera and took many pictures, including more than a few selfies accomplished by an exposure timer.

      For some adventurers, like Mom, there is some measure of accepted risk. Death is inevitable, and risking our lives by positioning ourselves deep in the wilds, or plummeting from an airplane or hurtling at high speeds along a racetrack (or -- and this is insane -- down the snowdrifts of a steep mountainside) can give us a stronger sense of control of the manner in which we die, or if not yet, the manner in which we live. Or in my experience with downhill skiing raise the question of why, in the name of all things holy and cosmic, we do the things we do.

      My own experiences in the bush (as a child) have given me a greater appreciation for the comforts of urban life. Hot water, toilet paper, food at every street corner, internet access from anywhere, convenient bus stops and frequent buses -- these are enjoyable in sharp relief when contrasted to the deep wilds where we have only what we've been carrying. And that is before we venture into rough terrain and harsh elements.

      Granted, some people are not fully aware of the risks they take. Mom once got to see a man fall off a cliffside and bounce against the rock face. It took almost a day for a helicopter to be summoned, by which time he was dead for want of emergency medical facilities, and even cold thanks to the frigid temperatures. I'm pretty sure during this incident Mom gained much awareness of her mortality -- and reconsidered her mountaineering lifestyle. She continued to climb anyway.

      But I think the danger is going to happen because humans are something of a wild, crazy and risk-taking bunch. Selfies allow us to show those times we lived. And reflect on those of us who didn't.

      Also, I should add, when it comes to dangerous game hunting, selfies are easier on the bears.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2015 @ 5:07pm

    that's a relief; i was getting worried that stupid people only lived in the usa

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Jul 2015 @ 2:24am

      Speaking of bear selfies

      Here in the US, ranger stations are posting PSAs about taking selfies dangerously close to bears, specifically Don't. You may die.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DarwinAwards.com, 9 Jul 2015 @ 5:07pm

    Russia,

    Keep up the good work!

    Editors,
    DarwinAwards.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2015 @ 8:50pm

    Stop waving that selfie stick around you'll poke someone's eye out!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 10 Jul 2015 @ 3:44am

    In January, two young men died in the Urals while taking a selfie holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out.
    And if these fools had been photographed by someone else, that would have been a third person who died. So a selfie basically saved someone's life. Who knew?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Boris Cherkov, 10 Jul 2015 @ 5:51am

    Ban it!

    This cultural excrement, known as "selfies," should be banned! It has become the new litmus test, replacing mouth-breathing, for measuring whether one has enough brain power to walk on two legs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    zboot (profile), 10 Jul 2015 @ 9:23am

    Hmm, I've got some pamplet ideas

    If you take a selfie running in front of a bus, you will get tired.
    If you take a take selfie running behind a bus, you will get exhausted.
    If you take a selfie in cathouse, you will soon find yourself in doghouse.
    If you take a selfie shooting off your mouth, you may find yourself losing face.
    A selfie jumping off a cliff is a leap to conclusion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Jul 2015 @ 10:53am

    Maybe the Russian high-risk selfie craze will put US teen sexts in perspective.

    I mean if your choice was your child taking nudie selfies or your child taking selfies in which she can easily die, which would it be?

    In the late 80s, pretty much most of the fear of Satanic death metal subsided as the gangsta rap about shooting cops and fucking bitches (That's having sex with women, not deriding women and then shooting them) started becoming popular amongst young people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jul 2015 @ 10:53am

    Obligatory

    In Soviet Russia selfies take you!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 10 Jul 2015 @ 1:57pm

    Ok, now to take the sho.. (splat)

    Ah! Selfies.

    Praise Darwin! :)

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 10 Jul 2015 @ 1:58pm

    Huh, the first thing I thought was "glad Russia has all those super-effective gun control laws!"

    Maybe if she actually knew how to handle a gun she'd still be alive. Also, who gives someone a loaded, racked pistol for a picture shoot?

    Guns don't kill people. Ignorant morons that use guns without learning basic safety rules kill people*.

    * Before the anti-gun nuts get started, psychos will kill people regardless, as Russia's high murder rate even without guns shows.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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