A weaponless selfie of Aguilar. (ABC Bakersfield)
Last week, a 21-year-old named Oscar Otero Aguilar attempted to take a photo of himself with a gun to his head and accidentally shot himself, according to a report by ABC Bakersfield. He was rushed to the hospital but died in the ambulance.
According to witnesses, Aguilar was waving the borrowed gun around as he struggled to photograph himself, alarming neighbors who later heard a gunshot and called an ambulance.
Aguilar, it seems, liked an elaborate selfie. His Facebook profile featured photos of him posing with expensive cars and beautiful women.
The incident itself demonstrates how the lure of a few friends’ “Likes” can cloud our judgment in times when we need it. Though holding a loaded gun to your head for a selfie is an especially foolish smartphone activity, it’s not entirely separate from, say, walking across a busy street while scrolling through Instagram or texting while driving.
As my colleague Daniel Bean noted last month, the emotional attachment people feel toward their phones is sometimes fatally strong. Perhaps the same goes for the lengths some are willing to go to feel the temporary rush of online approval.