With selfie-taking having been elevated to an art-form, just having high-resolution front-facing selfie-cams on modern smartphones aren’t enough anymore for today’s youngsters (and the young at heart). Selfie sticks have become all the rage over the past few years for that perfect wide-angle, self-shot image, but the device has been nothing if not divisive. While the selfie stick has already been banned from numerous amusement parks (including Disney World), museums, music festivals and other public places for one reason or another, their use continues unabated by people for use on social media sites and apps like Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp and Snapchat etc. The news today however is as good a reason as any to go cold turkey on the device for good.
According to reports coming out of the UK, a recent death in Southern Wales may be attributed to the selfie stick. It is said a middle-aged man was struck by lightning when the selfie stick he was carrying acted as the lightning conductor. The man was reportedly an assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and on the fateful day, was leading a group of teenagers on a Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme. The lightning reportedly struck when the group was at the summit of the Cribyn peak on the mountain range in Powys on the Brecon Beacons. The man was reportedly found by off-duty marine cadet instructors, and flown to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The news was originally carried by The Daily Telegraph (UK), but subsequently, the publication has clarified that the matter is still under investigation by local authorities, who’ve not said anything about any selfie stick being found at the spot.
While warnings about carrying metal rods or swimming outdoors during thunderstorms are routinely issued, many tend to ignore such warnings and carry on as usual. While authorities are still investigating whether this is indeed a selfie stick related death or not, users of the devices themselves haven’t always endeared themselves to the public at large by whipping out the rather ungainly contraptions at the most ill-opportune of times. This particular news, if it turns out to have even an iota of truth in it, will further raise calls for a blanket-ban on them in public places. Whether that does happen or not eventually still remains to be seen, but for now, this is yet another body-blow for the much maligned selfie-stick.