It seems that people will do anything for online clout or notoriety these days, and this includes putting themselves in harm’s way with little or no protection. One of such activities, taking pictures of an extreme yoga pose, that ended badly, to say the least.
The daily Spanish newspaper El Norte de Castilla initially reported the story of a 23-year-old woman who fell 80 feet from her balcony while attempting an extreme yoga pose. Alexa Terrazas, a Mexican college student, known for practicing a form of yoga known as “free yoga,” fell from a height of 25 meters in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico.
Alexa is the daughter of Alberto Terrazas Seyffert, the former president of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry in Chihuahua, and her mother, Belinda López, is the director of the Chihuahua Independent Club the Spanish newspaper reports. 
The young woman almost lost her life after climbing onto the glass railing of her balcony to take pictures which were meant to be uploaded on social media. This risky move nearly cost the Wellness and Nutrition student at Tecnológico de Monterrey her life after she fell on the driveway of her apartment building.
Fortunately, she survived the fall and paramedics from the Red Cross and the Nuevo Leon Civil Protection immediately rushed to the scene to tend to her injuries. She was then transported to the Zambrano Hellion Hospital, where she underwent 11 hours of surgery.
What was meant to be a follow-worthy picture attempt ended up badly for the young woman. Doctors reported that she had sustained 110 broken bones, with fractures to her hips and head, as well as both of her legs and arms. They would have to rebuild her ankles, knees, and part of her face. She would also be unable to walk for the next three years. 
The Terrazas family and loved ones took to social media shortly after the incident to ask people in the surrounding area to help by donating blood and praying for her safe recovery. Over 100 donors signed up to donate blood for the young woman who was said to be in critical condition.
According to the resulting investigations, this was not the first time that the college student had practiced yoga on the balcony. Her neighbors said they were used to seeing Alexa perform dangerous stunts such as this one on her balcony’s edge. The Nuevo Leon Attorney General’s office also found no structural damages to the balcony and handrail, allowing them to rule Alexa’s fall as an accident. 
The rising rate of social media related accidents
This isn’t the first example of an individual getting in the way of danger as a result of trying to capture a compelling social media picture. The modern social media has proven to be a double-edged sword as it poses both opportunities and dangers for teens and heavy users alike.
From compelling users to put themselves in harm’s way to take comment-worthy images like in the case of Alexa, to participating in potentially harmful online “challenges.” One of such challenges includes the recent 48-Hour Challenge where teens dare their friends to disappear for 48 hours with the goal that their name and/or picture will show up on social media. 
There are also some less apparent dangers associated with heavy social media use. According to a recent study published in the Clinical Psychological Science journal, The number of teens using electronic devices for a minimum of five hours daily more than doubled, from 8 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2015. These teens were 70 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions than those who reported one hour of daily use. 
One of the study authors, Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, insisted that “We need to stop thinking of smartphones as harmless. There’s a tendency to say, ‘Oh, teens are just communicating with their friends.’” Instead, she recommends that parents monitor the way their kids use smart devices and access social media and also set reasonable limits for their use.
There have also been increases in the rate of cyberbullying, which has been linked to depression, anxiety, social isolation, and suicide. Unlike traditional bullying, which could be easily traced and resolved or avoided, cyberbullying is often felt by a broader audience. It is also more challenging to trace and/or avoid as the perpetrator can easily remain anonymous. 
A Psychiatric Times report on the relationship between social media and the potential for violence in adolescents found that social media produces a significant risk factor. This is often predictive of assaultive behavior such as substance use, impulsivity, and mood disorders for those who are more likely to spend excessive time online. 
- El Norte de Castilla: https://www.elnortedecastilla.es/sociedad/joven-quinto-piso-20190827184138-nt.html
- NY Post: https://nypost.com/2019/08/27/student-practicing-extreme-yoga-pose-falls-80-feet-from-balcony/
- Fox 4KC: https://fox4kc.com/2019/02/12/latest-social-media-challenge-a-danger-for-those-who-participate-and-the-community/
- NY Post: https://nypost.com/2017/11/14/rise-in-teen-suicide-connected-to-social-media-popularity-study/
- The Conversation: http://theconversation.com/social-media-can-be-bad-for-youth-mental-health-but-there-are-ways-it-can-help-87613
- Psychiatric Times: https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/couch-crisis/-internet-made-me-do-itsocial-media-and-potential-violence-adolescents/page/0/1
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