New internet fad leads thrill seekers to trespass for ultimate selfie

'Urban explorers' risk safety for clicks

AUSTIN - An internet fad known as "Urban Exploration" or "Urbex" has made it's way to Austin.

The trend originated online and consists of people shooting selfie-style videos of themselves exploring abandoned buildings, construction zones, warehouses and more.

A simple YouTube search will return hundreds of thousands of similar videos and about 14,500 of those were created in Austin.

For Austin Police Department Lieutenant Ryan Adam, the videos show just one thing: "To me, on the legal aspect, you're watching up to six months to one year in jail," he said. 

Adam said the trend has slowly grown in Austin with past incidents including a photographer who was caught climbing.

"They look for an opportunity and they keep looking around until they see that opportunity and they can get into that job site," he said. 

Adam said the premise can seem somewhat innocent -- just teens or young adults wanting some social media hits -- but he said the reality is much more serious.

"A younger adolescent doesn't really think about the ramifications of what they do," he said. "I think that they're looking more of the 'Hey look at me' and they're not looking at the ramifications of their actions."
 
And while it may be a morbid thought, Adam said that these seemingly naive trips can suddenly turn deadly.
 
"The least thing that happens to them is they could go to jail," he said. "The most ... is where they could pass away and it's all for that little notoriety and that little clip on Facebook. At the end of the day it's just not worth it."


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment