A Houston teen died yesterday after trying to take an Instagram selfie while holding a loaded pistol to his head. The gun went off accidentally and shot him in the throat. He died at the scene. Zero likes.
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As the Houston Police Department confirmed, 19-year-old Deleon Alonso Smith had found the gun with his cousin earlier in the day. They were posing with it for Instagram when it went off, prompting his uncle to run to the apartment and try to resuscitate him, but Smith died at the scene. He was about to start community college, and leaves behind two young daughters. His family describe him as a fun-loving person and there's no suspicion of suicide. The police are investigating. It's all very sad.
Is this the first person who has died taking a selfie? Not even close. As we reported back in July, a man in the Brecon Beacons died after his selfie stick was reportedly hit by lightning; in May, a teen in Romania got tangled up in a 27,000-volt electrical field while she tried to take a selfie on top of a train; two boys in the Ural mountains died in July when posing for a selfie with a live grenade. The death rate for selfie-taking is excessively high. Humanity is actually very susceptible to selfie death. Soon, you will be more likely to die taking a selfie than you are getting attacked by a shark. That's not me talking: that's statistical likelihood. Stay off Instagram and stay alive.
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If selfie death teaches us anything, it's that we as a species are doomed – that we've devolved into some combination of parakeets distracted in a mirror and lemmings waltzing blithely off a cliff, dying not through misadventure, but by not paying attention. It's Chekhov's rifle breaking through the fourth wall and into real life. It's that movie Blow-Up but with the male lead's finger on both the shutter and the gun. It's the future of dying and it's here to claim us all.
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