Are selfie seats the answer to preventing tragic accidents?
While we all love getting the perfect travel selfie, particularly when it's at a popular or dramatic landmark, tragedies can occur when people go too far in pursuit of a photograph. Reports of people falling off high points or over the edges of cliffs regularly pop up in media reports around the world, which has prompted one Irish politician to call for "selfie seats" to be installed at popular visitor spots around Ireland's coast.
The Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, has made the selfie seat proposal to the Irish national tourism development authority, Failte Ireland. He feels that if the seats or stands were installed at appropriate points around the country, it could help to prevent accidents. He believes that it would be an "innovative marketing tool" that would showcase Ireland's natural beauty at places like the Cliffs of Moher. where warnings have had to be issued in the past around the instability of the cliff edge.
Speaking to The Southern Star newspaper, the minister said that it is almost impossible for visitors to find a steady location or to know where the best place for a shot is in areas of natural beauty. He suggested that they would appreciate stable seating being provided at the optimum spots to take photographs of themselves and their families. "Tourists, being time-sensitive, like to know where to go and what to do," he says. "They also like clear shots rather than grainy images on their social media and Instagram."
The minister concluded that the proposal would be "high on practicality and light on costs," and said that the selfie stands would be unobtrusive and would "protect the character" of the area being showcased.