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The danger is real.
Even the best of us can sometimes fall prey to vertical video syndrome—filming just a narrow column of space instead of tilting one’s phone sideways for a cinematic, YouTube-ready result. But now we can offer incontrovertible proof that this bad habit is more than simply irritating: It could mean the difference between an ordinary night out and setting your head on fire.
In the clip below, which could easily be edited into a helpful PSA, a woman leans over a pub table to squeeze into her friend’s unfortunately framed video selfie. In the process, she manages to dip her shoulder-length hair into the flame of a candle, preempting her attempt at duckface.
There’s a good chance, we like to think, that this young lady would hit it off with the Swedish bachelor whose recent brush with a bonfire was also caught on vertical video. Too bad he’s already engaged!
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'