It's a new trend that's sweeping social media: It's called a killfie-- a selfie taken while performing dangerous, life-threatening feats.
“I’ve seen kids on towers hanging off big crane things and just trying to take selfies on it,” Michael Berry said.
Some call it art, and others say it's just plain dumb.
“There’s definitely something wrong with it,” Alton Thompson said.
The danger doesn't seem to faze adrenaline junkies. A recent video taken at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge shows daredevils doing somersaults.
“You don't know what could happen. Anything could go wrong,” A Miracle Freeman said.
A recent study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon found selfie deaths are on the rise! In 2015, more people died from taking selfies than shark attacks all over the world. The most common cause of death by selfie was falling off a building or a mountain. The majority of the victims were under the age of 24.
“It’s that part of the brain that's not fully developed, and these young adults are much more likely to do these kind of dangerous things without thinking about the potentially dangerous consequences,” Riverpoint Psychiatric Associates Psychotherapist Burt Segal said.
Last month a photo of a young man was taken on top of the Westin at Town Center in Virginia Beach—the tallest building in Virginia. In Downtown Norfolk, pictures on Instagram show bold thrill seekers dangerously standing at the edge of buildings.
Segal says the real danger comes when these risk takers begin to believe they're invincible.
“I think probably the thrill of the moment gets in front of anything else--so rather than think about what could potentially happen, they think, ‘Wouldn't this be cool? Wouldn't my friends think this is great? Wouldn't this raise my status among my friends? Maybe I’ll be famous!’ These kind of things. And that’s a very short term way of thinking and ignoring the potentially lethal consequences,” he said.
The consequences not only could be deadly, but criminal. Police say these dangerous feats are grounds for a misdemeanor trespassing charge. They're urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of the killfie.
“It’s very important to know what your teenagers are doing, where they are, and let them not be afraid to talk to you,” Segal said.
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