Selfie Safety When Traveling Overseas

Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are some of the most popular social media apps. The common factor between these apps is the ability to share pictures with friends and family.

Taking selfies is a huge self-esteem booster. This is one of the reasons why it has captivated peoples’ hearts. When on vacation, you’re even more inclined to show off that you’re having a good time. So, you snap away.

Most people believe that having pictures is a great way to document memories and remember them forever. But, studies claim that constant photo taking reduces our ability to recall experiences, and diverts attention. Also, sharing these photos is likely changing the way we remember events.

We pay less attention to our surroundings when taking pictures. This not only diminishes our experience of the trip, but it is also dangerous.

You very often hear news of people dying or getting injured while performing daredevil stunts, all to get a cool picture. The most common reason for the mishap is that they weren’t paying attention to their surroundings.

You surely don’t want your name to be the next one on the news. Here are safety precautions to keep in mind while taking selfies.

Beware of Dangerous Areas

  1. Train Stations – The velocity of a train, even if it’s on the adjacent track, might pull you in and trap you. Don’t make this mistake.
  1. High-Traffic Areas – Taking a selfie while crossing the street is irritating to pedestrians, and puts your safety at risk. Wait until you’re done crossing the street, especially in places where pedestrian signals aren’t respected.
  1. Near Wildlife – One of the beauties of the wilderness is how unpredictable it is. This is also a warning to those who dare to take pictures with animals. It is not worth it.
  1. Near Bodies of Water- Many tourist spots that are near bodies of water are declared a “no-selfie zone.” Heed the warning if you see such rules when you’re on vacation. Chances are, there have been incidents involving selfie deaths or injuries.
  1. Edge of A Cliff – The view is breathtaking, but taking a selfie that can jeopardize your life is not worth it. Stand a couple of meters away from the edge before you take your phone out. It is very easy to lose your footing when you’re not paying attention.

No matter where you’re traveling or what activities you plan to take part in, make sure you purchase travel medical insurance or travel insurance that can provide coverage for it. If you get injured or encounter an unexpected mishap, your insurance could save you a lot of money.

Activities to Avoid While Taking a Selfie

  1. Driving – When you lose concentration while driving, you risk a lot of peoples’ lives. You should not use your phone when driving. If you’re in a Ferrari and want your picture taken driving it, ask the person in the passenger seat for one instead.
  1. Scuba Diving – Pictures and videos are allowed while scuba diving. But, during your first couple of dives, ensure your full concentration is on the dive. First-timers using cameras tend to forget to keep track of their oxygen gauge, and there can be other safety lapses.
  1. Rock Climbing – As awesome as the picture will be, hanging off the side of a rock isn’t the safest photoshoot location. Make your way to a more stable surface before you start taking pictures.

Other Things to Keep In Mind While Taking Selfies

1. Poses and Gestures that may be offensive

An innocent peace sign is not so innocent in some countries. A lot of popular selfie gestures have different connotations around the world.

  • Rock On or Hang Loose

You know that hand gesture you often see at heavy metal concerts? The one where your index and pinky are up and the other three fingers folded. Don’t use it when in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Colombia. In these countries, the sign is used to represent a wife that has engaged in adultery. So, even if a place is extremely cool, resist the urge to use this sign.

  • Peace Sign

When using the peace sign in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, make sure your palms are facing outward. The alternative is the equivalent of raising your middle finger to someone. 

  • Thumbs Up

You’re probably affronted that a sign of approval is rude in Afghanistan, Iran, Greece, and parts of Italy. In these places, the gesture has a vulgar meaning, so when posing in front of the Acropolis, use anything but a thumbs up.

2. Be Aware Of Where You Are

There are certain places that demand respect. Though you will be allowed to take pictures, please do so with courtesy. Avoid using any gestures or eccentric poses when taking the picture. 

The same rule applies in temples, monasteries, and mosques. Try to avoid snapping selfies in places of somber remembrance. This includes memorials, cemeteries, and gravesites.

3. Be Respectful of others

One of the main reasons tourists aren’t liked by locals is they are disrespectful when taking pictures. The selfie craze has allowed many to think it is their right to take whatever picture they want, wherever they want. This can’t be further from the truth.

When snapping a picture, ensure you are not obstructing other tourists’ view of the attraction. It is also not a good idea to hog the place for minutes on end.

If you’re taking pictures with someone else, make sure you ask them for permission before you go camera happy. This is the least amount of respect you can give them.

4. Gadgets That May Be Intrusive

Selfie gadgets can be intrusive and a hindrance to everyone around you.

  • Selfie Sticks

Dubbed “the wand of narcissism,” selfie sticks obstruct other peoples’ personal space and are just overall an annoyance. It is so hated, that the device has been banned in many places. This includes Coachella, Disney Parks, the Smithsonian, and Rome’s Colosseum.

  • Drones

Drones are considered a security threat in some places. You are banned from flying drones over airports, national parks, and certain government facilities. So, if you want to get drone footage, make sure that place allows them.

Following the rules is imperative while taking selfies. Remember, they are being imposed for both yours and others’ safety.

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