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Dying For A Photo

Sam Hawley
Creative Commons

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos. 

That got us wondering if other people were risking their lives for that perfect photo. It turns out that more than 250 people worldwide have died while taking selfiesin just over the last decade, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. Drowning, transport, and falls are the top reasons for death.

Today, we talk about how a social media-driven visual culture is shaping how we work, play, and experience life. Are we willing to die for that perfect photo? 

You can join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter


  • Michael Kodas - Photojournalist and the author of the bestselling book High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed and Megafire: The Race To Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame
  • Ed Dohring - Medical director and spine surgeon at the Spine Institute of Arizona and a climber on Mt. Everest in May when several people died after waiting in long lines to reach the summit.
  • George Kourounis  - Explorer and storm chaser; his adventures have been featured on National Geographic, Discovery Channel and he has his own adventure TV program titled, Angry Planet
  • Jeff Yarnold - Search Manager and Air Operations Coordinator for North Shore Rescue
  • Anabel Quan-Haase - Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Department of Sociology at Western University, Ontario and the author of Real-life sociology: A Canadian Approach, and Technology and Society: Social Networks, Work, and Inequality

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show. 

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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