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Social Media Before Reason

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Take a selfie in front of a fire? Sure, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

"The end comes, as it was always going to, down a video phone!"

Social media are regularly used for circulating news and sharing whatever you're doing with your friends in the form of status updates, pictures, or videos. This can be really fun and addictive, and although spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram might distract you from living in the moment, it usually won't actually hurt anybody. It also goes along with an Internet Safety Aesop since you should think twice before you post something on the internet.

But what if you find yourself in a dangerous situation that requires rapid action, such as a natural disaster, a medical emergency, or a crime in progress? The logical thing to do in this case is to either run to safety if you can't help or hurry to the victims' aid if you can...and yet some people are so hooked on social media that their first impulse is to start posting about it there before they even think about responding to the emergency. Sure, whatever's happening is newsworthy, but it'll be too late to do anything about it if you waste precious seconds fiddling with your screen.


This is Truth in Television due to its roots in human psychology—when you see an outright incredible scene, it's so hard to believe it's actually happening that your first reaction will be to actually prove it's real by putting it on the Web. It can also be an aspect of Bystander Syndrome where everybody assumes that someone else is already taking care of it and that there's nothing for them to do but watch. Keep in mind that social media can also be used legitimately for sharing information during a disaster when other means aren't available, or more specifically submitted to the proper authorities as evidence of a crime being committed; this trope is specifically about using it in a way that's inappropriate for the situation.

Compare with the Intrepid Reporter, a professional journalist who ought to know the risks they're taking by being there; the Apocalyptic Log, which is left by someone in case they don't survive to tell the tale, instead of by some Twitter addict who just doesn't realize how much danger they're in; and Endangering News Broadcast, which is usually more dangerous to the subject than to the filmer. Related to New Media Are Evil and Everything Is Online. Sub-trope of Skewed Priorities and Social Media Is Bad. This is a common trait of a Selfie Fiend, and even more prevalent with the Bad Influencer.



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  • A downplayed version occurs in a commercial for Eggo waffles. A family is eagerly awaiting for an Eggo to pop up out of the toaster and when it does, they immediately whip out their phones and begin tweeting "Leggo my Eggo". As they're doing so, the youngest daughter just walks up and grabs the Eggo.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Aggretsuko: In the OVA We Wish You a Metal Christmas, Retsuko becomes addicted to posting dessert pics on Instagram, to the point that she winds up doing such things as spending all night taking a train back and forth to another city just to post a picture of something in a cafe she'd heard about.
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch's second Establishing Character Moment after his chess game is him rushing to help a truck that just had an accident, while everyone around him is merely taking pics and wondering why no one has called an ambulance yet. Note that this came out before the advent of social media, but the attitude is still there, with people using their phones to take pictures rather than calling emergency services with them.
  • In the 2018 version of GeGeGe no Kitarō, a young man decides to run around in Shibuya traffic and disturb the locals so he can get views on Youtube for it. He turns into a red-leaved tree not long after. Why was he transformed? His previous video showed him tearing off a talisman and breaking the rock it was attached to in the same careless style, unwittingly releasing the youkai inside. And then bystanders take pictures of the aforementioned tree, in which some of who took pictures of the tree turn into the tree, causing Shibuya to turn into a red forest.
    • It happens once again in episode 22, when the Gyuki comes to the island town during a festival, the people think it's an entertainment and begin taking pictures of it. It is only after it eats the selfie-takers that the people realize it's a monster and start panicking.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice tends to play this for laughs:
    • A case of this happens in Episode 2. When Yurio arrives in Japan, he mentions knowing he can't post pictures or else his coach will find out where he is, but as soon as he finds a shirt he really likes (with a tiger on it), he takes a selfie with it and posts it anyway. His coach is not amused in the slightest.
    • Phichit seems to have a habit of taking embarrassing pictures of people and posting them online without their consent since, in his words, he just can't help himself. He does it twice in Episode 6, where he takes a picture of his coach Celestino when he's drunkenly passed out and when he uploads a racy picture of a drunk and naked Victor hugging Yuri.

    Comic Books 
  • Dark Reign: The Corruptor took over Captain America's mind, ordered him to kill Steve Rogers, and attempted to film it with his cell phone. Rogers manages to deflect the bullet, which ricochets and gets to the Corruptor's cell phone. He gets electrocuted as a result.
  • In the G.I. Joe (IDW) series, the Joes were assigned an online journalist codenamed Hashtag whose job was to improve the Joes' public image by posting social media updates. By following her updates, COBRA was able to track the Joe team and ambush them.
  • In the 2013 The Green Team series from DC Comics, the leader type is initially puzzled as to how the assassin has tracked them down until it's learned that the newcomer has been posting his location to a Facebook equivalent.
  • Heroes Reborn (2021): Blur is so much faster than the Silver Witch that he can easily lap her, the only reason she snared his soul was him making a social media video while outrunning her and he didn't see what she was doing.
  • Kid Loki from Journey into Mystery (Gillen) knows he needs to escape through a portal fast after he's summoned Surtur—but he can't resist snapping a picture of the rampaging, now freed fire giant first. (Probably for the skeptical followers of his Instagram, which we've seen earlier in the series.)
  • Comic Book/titansRebirth: When Abra Kadabra transports the guests of a kid's birthday party to the moon, one girl takes a selfie while in the midst of gasping for air.
  • The Transformers: Shattered Glass incarnation of Ravage is a horrible social media addict who not only has a tendency to give up his location while in hiding due to posting it on his social media accounts, he also likes taking selfies with someone he's sneaking up on in the background and sending them the picture.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Spider-Men II: A giant piece of a robot has fallen in the schoolyard. Some pages later, Miles is leaving to investigate, the police are making crowd control... and a pair of students take a selfie in front of it.
    • Ultimate X-Men: In the first issue of "New Mutants", Hank, having learned jack-squat, goes on an internet chat room to tell everyone about the Mutant with angel wings living at the mansion. Cut to two different mobs on the front lawn, one pro-Mutant, one anti-Mutant and both wanting to see the angel. Hank refuses to see how this is his fault.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Death of Superman: Subverted. During Doomsday's rampage, we see a girl posting a video on social media, but it's more of an Epic Hail as she begs the Justice League to show up to stop him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A variant: a common complaint about Found Footage Films, especially in the horror genre, is that the protagonists always seem to clutch their cameras for dear life, trying to film all of the horror going on even when logic suggests that they drop the camera and just run.
    • The Blair Witch Project, of all films, actually deconstructed this one. The reason Heather's continuing to film everything, long after it's become clear that she and her friends are lost, is because it's her way of coping with that fact. The screen on the camera makes the predicament she's in feel less real.
    • Cannibal Holocaust, a candidate for the first found-footage film ever made, deconstructed this in a different manner. Here, the protagonists are a bunch of murderous scumbags who film their atrocities out of a sick sense of sadism, the fact that they have cameras at all implied to be a major driving force behind their crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
    • In the 2013 version of Carrie, during the title character's telekinetic rampage at the prom, the school photographer tries to film what's happening, and we briefly see the action through the lens of his camera, found footage-style. He gets a table to the face the moment that Carrie makes eye contact with the camcorder. The original version of the script was supposed to have a greater found-footage component; this scene was likely an artifact of that. A non-fatal example comes earlier in the film when Chris films Carrie's humiliation in the school showers, which turns out to be incriminating evidence that she was responsible for the prank, meaning that she's not getting unbanned from the prom no matter how much her rich father tries to argue her case.
    • In [REC] 3: Génesis, when Atun tries to keep filming even after a Zombie Apocalypse has broken out, Koldo simply grabs his camera and smashes it. The rest of the film is shot as a conventional horror movie, unlike the opening (and the first two films).
  • Anna and the Apocalypse:
    • "#Evacselfie" becomes a trending topic as people take photos of themselves at evacuation centers, often posing with the zombies on the other side of the fence. Steph reacts appropriately.
    "Well, we all deserve to go extinct."
    • Subverted with Chris running back to grab his phone after he drops it. Steph criticizes him for trying to risk his life to retrieve a piece of glass and metal, but Chris explains that what he really wants is the photos of his girlfriend and grandmother that were saved on the phone, as they may be the last he sees of them alive.
  • In Army of the Dead, Guzman and Chambers are a pair of social media influencers who got famous by staging zombie hunts around the Las Vegas quarantine zone. They joined the Caper Crew heading into the walled-off part of the city not just to provide firepower, but also to promote themselves. The moment they step inside the walls, they immediately take a selfie together. Chambers' early death causes Guzman to quickly snap out of it, though.
  • In The Batman (2022), one of the thugs with white face paint that Batman confronts films the whole thing with his phone, right before Batman's brutal beatdown on the gang member who dared to attack him.
  • In Deadpool, Negasonic Teenage Warhead starts tweeting in the midst of the confrontation between the heroes and villains. The villains obligingly wait for her to finish and even let her make the first move.
  • Made-for-TV Movie, A Fairly Odd Summer, the third and final of The Fairly Oddparents live-action movies, has a wealthy family about to go out on a vacation. However, the parents are overly obsessed with their social status online. As soon as someone makes a negative comment about them on a social page, they quickly bail on their vacation and just send the kids off by themselves... with Vicky.
  • The Gentlemen: Was hanging around to take selfies with a dead body that has just fallen off a tower block while four irate London Gangsters are trying to clear up the scene really a good idea? Quite frankly, the chavs are lucky they got off as lightly as they did.
  • In God Bless America, after Frank and Roxy's shooting at the cinema, they spot a guy filming it all on his cellphone — without any concern for his own safety. Frank shoots him right through his phone's camera lens.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: When Godzilla makes landfall in Hong Kong, a crowd of bystanders can be seen taking out their phones to photograph or record him. Granted, he's moving away from said bystanders' position, but considering that as far as humanity knows at this point Godzilla has become hostile to humans...
  • In Infamous, Arielle is obsessed with becoming famous and live streams the crimes committed by her and Dean on social media. This inevitably puts the authorities on their trail.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Thor: The Dark World, Jane Foster is trying to get civilians to evacuate. She's incredulous they're not only still around after the Big Bad and Thor are duking it out after the landfall of a giant alien ship but are all rushing to the windows to get their cell phones out. One even asks her if she's kidding about leaving, since Thor's right there.
    • A few years later in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Flash keeps livestreaming to his Instagram followers while they're running from the super elemental illusion in London. This is a double-edged sword; on the one hand, Mysterio's tech crew is able to use it to target the kids, since they're trying to kill Ned, MJ, and Betty, but on the other hand, Happy is able to use it to rescue the kids, since Peter tipped him off that Mysterio was targeting them, and once Happy finds them he gets Flash to turn off the stream.
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: A livestreamer named Klev catches Shang-Chi's fight with some Ten Rings goons on a bus. He continues livestreaming even as the fight puts everyone in peril (though he does justify some of his being less help on the grounds that he's not allowed to drive buses.)
  • In Pearl Harbor, one of Rafe's friends keeps on recording the attack with a camera even when all hell is breaking loose just inches away from him. He gets hit by gunfire from a passing Zero and dies.
  • The Social Dilemma: In the story, the family's youngest daughter Isla is so addicted to her phone that when her mother locks it away for a dinner, she instead smashes the container and runs upstairs rather than eat without it.
  • In Ted 2, this is Ted's reaction when he sees John covered in semen.
    Ted: Hang on—I'm gonna post this on Facebook!
    John: NOOOOO!
    Ted: (typing) #GrrrMondays.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022): As Leatherface appears within a bus full of people, they make absolutely no effort to escape, instead standing there like statues and holding up their phones to photograph and record him. As much as the moment is designed as a satirical jab at millennial/gen-Z influencers (especially with one of them threatening to have Leatherface "cancelled"), it's also somewhat justified, since he’s blocking the main exit and recording him will leave behind more evidence in case he tries to attack them.
  • In the opening scene of We Can Be Heroes (2020), Miracle Guy puts off fighting aliens (which are charging directly towards him) to get a selfie with them, and predictably, is taken off guard and knocked unconscious by their attack.
  • Wish Upon: If one of your best friends has just developed necrotizing fasciitis (a.k.a. 'flesh-eating disease') and is freaking out, then now is probably not the time to snap a photo of her and post it on the web.

  • The Institute: Early in the story, police officer Tim Jamieson is forced to fire a warning shot to apprehend an armed and intoxicated teen, but the bullet ends up knocking down a lamp from the ceiling, which then falls on top of a bystander who, instead of doing the sensible thing and run, stayed to film the whole altercation. It costs Tim his job since the guy got injured. Once he makes his way to DuPray, he is hired by the local sheriff who has zero sympathy for the injured bystander specifically because it was this trope and overlooks the incident when hiring Tim.
  • Fun Jungle:
    • Quite a few people following a trend of streaming videos of themselves spanking zoo animals in Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, are mentioned as having been badly injured in the process.
    • In Bear Bottom, a tourist named Morton provokes a herd of elk while taking selfies, then continues taking selfies in the middle of being chased by an angry bull elk that gouges his butt. Then immediately after getting out of the hospital, he climbs into an angry rodeo bull's pen for another selfie and ends up being chased into an outhouse, which gets knocked over, leaving him Covered in Gunge.
  • N.E.R.D.S.: McKenna, a cheerleader from Book 3, tweets everything she does whenever she can, sharing a lot information that should be kept secret, such as the fact that she and her friends are stealing treasure from alternate realities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Amazing Race: This fate befell CJ & Libby in the 26th season. Already starting the leg in last place, they lost their only chance to catch up by taking a selfie in front of the bullet train without checking the time. By the time they finished, the doors of the train closed making their deficit impossible to overcome.
  • Austin & Ally: Austin tweets about "Suzy's Soups" going out of business while they're trying to save the restaurant.
  • Downplayed in The Big Bang Theory: Penny is upset with herself for having sex with Raj and hides out at Amy's apartment. Raj comes over to talk to her and reveals that the sex never happened; they were both too drunk and passed out after he came prematurely as she was helping him put on his condom.
    Penny: How did you know I was here?
    Raj: It's all over her Facebook page.
  • Black Mirror:
    • Naturally comes up a lot, given the themes and premise of the show. Highlighted in the trailer for series 2, which showed (among similar images) a crowd filming on their phones whilst a homeless man is murdered in front of them; and dozens of people holding up their phones as a huge, ominous dark cloud comes along to swallow them up.
    • Perhaps best on display in Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment. A cartoon bear named Waldo runs in a by-election in England as a joke candidate, receiving criticism from competing traditional political candidates (who believe he makes a mockery of the democratic process) but also massive appeal from the voting public. Waldo ends up coming second behind the stuffy, humourless Jerkass Conservative candidate, but ultimately he turns out to be the last politician to win a British by-election: the Waldo movement not long after takes over Britain and turns it into a barking mad, populist Police State and worse, seems to be spreading across the world too.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Eleventh Hour", the people of England watch the Sun mysteriously dimming over, and instead of running for some sort of probably-fruitless cover, they begin to film and tweet about it. The Doctor comments on this.
    • If you weren't scared of social networks enough, "The Bells of Saint John" shows that there's a mastermind using all your updates to the Internet to track people, events, and the ridiculous situations you should really deal with before taking a selfie. The selfies help them steal identities. (Funnily enough, though, the bad guys make this same mistake: their social media accounts all mention where they work, which is how the Doctor tracks them down, with some help from Clara.)
    • At the top of "Death in Heaven" people are gawking at the Cybermen who have just emerged from St. Paul's Cathedral in the previous episode's Cliffhanger; their mastermind Missy offers them photos with the cyborgs for a pound and even crows to the Doctor "We're trending!" as some people take them up on the offer. But they turn out to be a subversion: they're actually military personnel from UNIT come to ambush and apprehend both Missy and the Cybermen (and to take the Doctor with them to boot).
  • In Dog with a Blog, Tyler attempts to post a photo to "Buddy Bop" when he realizes he only has 2% phone power. Meanwhile, the girls are trying to find a way to get Stan back in the house. Avery remarks, "You're wasting precious time here!"
  • One episode of Kanpai Senshi After V was based around Treasure V facing huge public backlash after Blue Tweeted a picture of an enemy mook attacking a child, rather than actually stepping in to help the victim.
  • Longmire: When an heir to a phenomenally wealthy family turns up dead, Walt takes pains to keep the story away from the press while they work on the case. While he's explaining this to the family, its bratty Phoneaholic Teenager tweets out the news, then tries to take a selfie with him.
  • NCIS: A carload of teens has just collided with a dying Naval officer and they pile out of the car to check on him. One of the teens is clearly addicted to social media.
    "Get off Facebook and dial 911!"
  • Played for laughs in Scream Queens (2015). Chanel #2 is alone in a room with the series' Serial Killer and chooses to tweet about it instead of calling for help. She's promptly murdered right after. After being fatally stabbed, she clings to life just long enough to post her final tweet before expiring.
  • World's Dumbest...:
    • Played With in pretty much every way, typically in one of two scenarios—either someone will film a disaster and its aftermath instead of doing something to help, prompting the commentators to jokingly Lampshade the importance of continuing to film the events; or someone will stop filming and go to help, prompting the commentators to complain (and, in some cases, re-enact the probable aftermath themselves).
    • Another form of this occurs when someone films something embarrassing and decides to erase the tape—which apparently means "send it to TruTV so Danny Bonaduce can make fun of it."

  • AJJ has the song #armageddon, in which people spend the Apocalypse taking pictures and posting about Satan's minions mercilessly slaughtering everyone.
  • Freak Kitchen's song "Freak of the Week" is about exactly this. Just check out the lyrics:
    I'm the new black / I'm opium to thee / Will do anything / For popularity
    Mutilate myself / Become an amputee / Like me, like me, won't you like me?

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Benjy's first instinct when things start getting freaky in the locked school is to take a video recording of the strange events, even when the Fog of Doom forms into a snake and impales a student right in front of him.

  • In Fangirls, Brianna and Edna have to physically wrestle Jules' phone out of her hands to prevent her from taking a selfie with the kidnapped pop star.

    Video Games 
  • In Chapter 5 of Celeste, Theo goes into a mysterious temple to get cool pictures for his InstaPix followers. This ends badly. In his defense, he had no way of knowing beforehand that the temple was some freaky Eldritch Location.
  • In Hifuu Nightmare Diary ~ Violet Detector, Sumireko is trapped within a dream where everyone attacks her with danmaku. Frustrated with the looping nightmares, she decides she better makes use of it and starts taking pictures within the dreams and posting them on social media to gain followers. Thanks to her unique circumstances with dreams, the photos carry over to the real world somehow.
  • Let It Die features Colonel Jackson, whose fetish involved taking selfies in the blast radius of the bombs he made himself, sometimes with his partner/lover Johnny. It ended about as well as you'd expect, with Johnny getting blown in half. The subsequent grief-driven rampage is what leads Jackson to get decapitated and become the second Don of the Tower of Barbs.
  • Rabbid Peach in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has an obsession with selfies as a character quirk. She even takes them when her personal safety is being compromised, like when she was being grabbed and slammed by a Piranha Plant.
  • Cassie Cage of the Mortal Kombat series uses this in some of her pre- and post-fight banters; taking a selfie with the evil, alien or just plain old deranged killer that is about to fight her to the death, and then another with their mangled corpse which goes straight onto social media where other fighters leave their comments.
  • One of D.Va's highlight intros in Overwatch is her ejecting from her mech after hitting the self-destruct, only to stop and take a selfie of herself flashing a V-Sign with her Meka exploding in the background. Somewhat Justified since, in-game, she's immune to the self-destruct itself.
  • The fickleness of social media in general plays a huge role in Persona 5, particularly regarding the forum that the Phantom Thieves use to collect intel on their targets. The media flip-flops between laying it on thick/abusing the thieves' services, and turning on them and labeling them pariahs. This gets especially troubling for the thieves when the head of The Conspiracy they've been fighting against confesses to his crimes; his lackeys slander the thieves on social media sites and the people of Tokyo eat it up, no questions asked, despite the fact that Shido and his party had absolutely no interest in Japan's welfare. It comes to a head during the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, where you learn that all of Tokyo embodies the sin of Sloth and serve as the masters of the aforementioned dungeon along with the Final Boss. It also doubles as commentary: the people of Tokyo would rather be told what to do than divert from the expectations laid out before them, and one symptom includes taking things at face value.
    • One early-game scene exemplifies this: as Shiho lays in Shujin's courtyard after a bungled suicide, Ryuji and the Protagonist swiftly run down there, only to find a mass of students snapping photos and shooting video footage, with Ann being the only one who even tries to help (via riding along with Shiho in the ambulance). Ryuji says it best—
    Ryuji: What the hell's wrong with these people?!
  • Levi from Starlink: Battle for Atlas has a rep amongst his crew for taking and posting selfies of himself everywhere, and snuck onboard the Equinox in the name of boosting his follower count, as noted in one of Victor St. Grand's crew files.
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Mortal Kombat X both involve fighters who think that the middle of a martial arts match is the perfect time to take a selfie with the opponent. In the latter case, it's part of a Fatality.
  • Watch_Dogs:
    • One of the random conversations in has someone lamenting that onlookers were more concerned about snapping photos and videos of an accident than helping.
    • The trope is averted in normal gameplay; NPCs will stop to photograph unusual events (e.g. the infamous vigilante Aidan Pierce) but run or call the cops if things get too dangerous (e.g. the infamous vigilante Aidan Pierce blows up part of the road).
  • We Become What We Behold has you accepting orders from an unknown source where you have to photograph "something interesting". It later escalates to prejudice, violence, and full-blown massacre.
  • Subverted in Yandere Simulator: The bullies are very dangerous obstacles because of their penchant for social media. If they catch Yandere-chan in the middle of a murder, they will swiftly take a picture and try to post it to social media, requiring Yandere-chan to murder them and crush their phone so proof she's a murderer doesn't leak out. This applies to anyone holding a cell phone, really, but Phone Addicts like the bullies and the Gaming Club do it much faster than anyone else holding a cell phone.

  • xkcd comic Seismic Waves satirizes people who tweet obsessively by depicting them retweeting warnings about earthquakes rather than taking precautions. Became truth with the 2011 Virginia Earthquake, where people in Boston and New York City reported reading Twitter messages from people in Baltimore, DC, and Richmond reacting to the earthquake 15-30 seconds before feeling the tremors themselves. This was largely due to the geology of the east coast, which is not prone to big earthquakes, resulting in older rock that transfers the energy further, but slower, than areas that are much more prone to Earthquakes.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Bojack Horseman, this is what kills Herb Kazzaz, after his cancer goes into remission. He spends the drive home tweeting how he'll live forever, only to collide with a peanut truck, which causes his death by allergic reaction.
  • Danger Mouse:
    • In "The World Wide Spider", the monster-of-the-week's rampage keeps crossing paths with a tour group that's always standing in front of whichever landmark it's about to attack. The group includes one particular tourist who always stays put long enough to take a selfie of himself with the monster in the background.
    • When Penfold gets addicted to his new phone, he starts posting vast quantities of selfies to social media, even while on secret missions. Baron Greenback uses these posts to track the duo and thwart DM's every move. DM eventually uses Penfold's addiction to his advantage in order to halt the Baron's scheme.
  • Part 2 of the DC Super Hero Girls episode "Nevermore" has a teenager taking selfies in the middle of some destruction Raven accidentally caused. Batgirl is understandably annoyed when rescuing her.
  • Mark Beaks of DuckTales (2017) is featured in an episode wherein he is constantly threatened by a hired thief named Falcon Graves. Falcon was hired to steal "Project Tadah", the company's upcoming product. Despite this, all Mark cares about is taking photos of himself with Falcon and updating his current status on social media. Falcon promptly destroys Mark's phone, but he keeps pulling out replacements and documenting every moment on social media. At first, one might think this is subverted given that Mark himself hired Graves in order to steal the nonexistent project so he could keep the money the investors gave him. But upon seeing his last phone tossed off the roof of the company, Mark dives down after it, catches it, takes a selfie, and types "YOLO" before hitting a trampoline he did not know would be there.
  • Gravity Falls: We don't see it happen, but Wendy says this was the fate of Robbie during "Weirdmageddon". He would have gotten away from Bill Cipher's initial wave of weird, but he stopped to take a selfie.
  • Kaeloo: In one episode where the main four get stranded on an island full of cannibals, Pretty decides to take pictures of herself crying over them getting stuck and post them on social media site Fakebook. Her sister then points out that she could go rescue them instead.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: When there's an Akuma attack, there is amateur Intrepid Reporter Alya Césaire trying to capture Livestream footage for her Ladyblog, even if the Akumatized villain is a Person of Mass Destruction and it would be smarter to run like hell.
  • Steven Universe:

    Real Life 
  • So many deaths and injuries have occurred while taking selfies that Wikipedia has its own page for selfie-related deaths and injuries.
  • In one incident that occurred in December 2013, a woman decided that—rather than do something helpful or respectful in regard to a would-be jumper on the Brooklyn Bridge—she would take a selfie as police talked the jumper down in the background.
  • While no humans were killed, a baby dolphin died of dehydration when a group of people all passed it around to take pictures with it.
  • Vicky Xipolitakis, an Argentine diva, took a flight and was invited by the pilots to the cockpit. She joked with them during the takeoff sequence, was even allowed to press the throttle... and filmed everything, and uploaded her video of her antics to Twitter. As you may suspect, the two pilots were fired immediately, and the three of them (the pilots and Xipolitakis) faced legal action for their dangerous stunt.
  • This seems to become a trend in Russia, to the point where the government felt it necessary to start a "Safe Selfie" campaign. Read, for example, here. Ranging from shooting oneself in the head during selfie to holding a live, unpinned hand grenade!
  • This problem crops up pretty regularly at national parks and other sites of natural beauty. Folks, no matter how much you think you need to, or how cool the resulting picture would be:
    • Do not climb onto railings or parapets or lean out over the edge of a cliff to get a better view.
    • Do not wander off the trail to get a better view.note 
    • Do not wander out into the road to get a better view.
    • Do not pick up, pet, or feed the animals. If an animal moves away from you, do not follow it. If an animal approaches you, move calmly in the other direction.
  • Geraldo Rivera did this during the second Iraq war. He specifically filmed himself highlighting detailed troop locations, numbers, and movement prior to combat operations, and broadcast it well in advance of the actual events, and was swiftly kicked out by the Army afterward. He did this knowing full well the fate of Daniel Pearl, and numerous civilian contractors who were set on fire, alive, and hung from bridges by the enemy Iraqi soldiers and their Al Qaeda sympathizers. He was, and still is, shocked that the allied army and the viewing public in general hate him, and to a lesser extent, his network, for doing this.
  • Possibly the biggest case of this trope is when a YouTuber by the name of Logan Paul filmed himself visiting Aokigahara (Also known as Jukai (the 'Sea of Trees') and the Suicide Forest as a result of its reputation as a suicide hotspot), a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji with his friends in Japan. While it seemed innocent, even for a tad bit, it reached a huge level of idiocy and horror when he began to film the dead body he stumbled upon and actually uploading for many viewers, who are mostly juveniles, to see, then began making insensitive jokes at the deceased's expense. As a result, it garnered a lot of controversy and was covered in MSM for a week. Not helping matters was the general misbehaviour Logan and his party engaged in during the trip as a whole, including throwing objects at citizens in Tokyo, stripping and fighting in the street, and clambering around on moving forklifts and generally being a nuisance at the Tsukiji Market. In addition, Logan was subjected to a countless amount of "The Reason You Suck" Speech by many celebrities, Japanese YouTubers and fellow content creators alike. While he did delete the video and made an apology video for it, the damage has already been done. Consequently, this became a Never Live It Down for many people even though he has shown himself trying to own up for his mistakes still to this day.
  • In Odisha, India, somebody tried to take a selfie with a wounded bear. No points for guessing his lifespan. Bonus points for guessing that this was the third person in 2018 to be killed trying to take a selfie with a wild animal in Odisha alone, though the other two were both related to elephants.
  • In India, a man was hit by a train while taking a selfie. He managed to survive the incident, though, unlike many of the other real-life examples listed here.
  • On May 1, 2020, a group of about 60 men, including two American former Green Berets, entered Venezuela with the intention of capturing President Nicolás Maduro and overthrowing the government. Almost immediately after they crossed the Venezuela border, they were attacked, resulting in eight of their members being killed and thirteen arrested, including both Americans. The would-be revolutionaries had been discussing their plans openly on Twitter beforehand and even uploaded several videos, letting Venezuelan authorities know exactly when and where they'd be.
  • On July 2, 2021, a man by the name of Edward Cagney Mathews confronted a black neighbor and their argument later devolved into Mathews spewing countless racist words. Almost immediately after walking away, Mathews overconfidently revealed his house location to the person who's recording the video so he can challenge anyone who dared to come to his house. You can guess what happened afterwards.
  • In 2020, a TikTok trend involved getting a tattoo of the letter Z with a horizontal line through the middle (Ƶ). At the time, it was supposed to represent the pride of being generation z, as well as symbolize rebellion and unity. However, the tattoo strongly resembled a wolfsangel rune, something that was used by the 2nd SS Panzer Division of Nazi Germany. The girl who started the trend apologised profusely and broke down crying as she genuinely did not know the history of the symbol and because she was receiving death threats because of this mistake. The damage was already done because thousands of TikTok users got the tattoo before they did the research.


Video Example(s):


Zuma is rescuing a family

While Zuma is rescuing a family trapped in a car underwater, the teenage daughter decides this is the perfect time to take a selfie, which her father reluctantly takes part in. - PAW Patrol The Movie 2021

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SocialMediaBeforeReason

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