18 Things More Likely to Kill You than Talking to Strangers

My mother told me not to talk to strangers.

I'm sure your mother told you the same thing. The world, we are told, is a scary place. I think it is only scary because we've made it that way. We've chosen to live in fear of our neighbors, the weird guy down the street, and just about everyone else. I think this is because everyone wants to sell us a product. Politicians want us to be so scared we vote for them. The media wants us to be so scared we watch their news and entertainment shows (and thus the advertisements of their sponsors). And so on...

According to the FBI, 1%, or 150 of the 15,000 murders that occur in the United States each year are the result of a serial killer. My mother told me not to talk to strangers because if I did, they'd toss me into a van, do horrible things to me, and ditch my broken carcass in a ditch. CSI and Law and Order reinforce this story several times a week, and in syndication. I decided to see what other daily activities are more dangerous than accidentally striking up a conversation with a serial killer.

Things that are far more likely to kill you than talking to a stranger (with number of deaths per year):

Walking (5,870)
Riding a bike (740)
Riding a  motorcycle (18,000)
Driving a car (33,804)
Driving or riding in an agricultural vehicle (273)
Water transport (630)
Falling Down (30,208)
Drowning (3,536)
Killed by inanimate object (2,768)
Accidental Poisoning (38,851)
Explosion (167)
Choking  on food (744)
Choking on something else (3,187)
Electrocution (700)
Fire, flames, smoke (3,377)
Contact with venomous animal or plant (160)
Exposure to natural heat (301)
Exposure to natural cold (472)

Stats from FBI, Centers for Disease Control, and National Safety Council

In other words, compared to many things that I do every day, talking to a stranger from time to time sounds pretty innocuous. If I'm more likely to be killed by an inanimate object, a plant, or eating, than talking to someone in line at Target, I think I'll take my chances.

Why this new found interest?

  1. I'm restarting my art business and I need to strengthen my network of people. To do so, I have to meet and talk to strangers. 
  2. I watched a #TedTalk by Kio Stark that inspired me to not be so shy.

I've just started, but in the last few hours, I've already spoken with three neighbors (whom I'd never spoken before) and reached out to a couple of people on Twitter. I'm pushing outside my comfort zone. If you'd like some tips on talking to strangers and a great argument to do so, check out Kio Stark's talk. 

If you're a non-serial killer stranger, you can connect with me on #Twitter @dsborden.
Web: www.ScribbleFire.com

#strangers #SocialMedia #stats #causesofdeath


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