WHY does anyone feel the need to take a selfie in a cinema? You might as well take one by the frozen peas in the supermarket, or by the timetable at a bus stop.

Some selfies capture the excitement of a big show or a gig before the curtain rises - but sitting in your local multiplex shouldn’t even be interesting to you, let alone anyone else.

I was at the cinema last week. The film had just started when two women arrived a couple of rows in front. Not content with being late, they set about taking selfies, sending camera flashes into the darkness. Then they fiddled about on their phones, creating irritating pools of light, with not a flicker of thought for anyone around them.

Now cinema tickets aren’t cheap. When I’ve paid the best part of a tenner to sit watch a film, I’m quiet and respectful of others, and I expect everyone else to be the same. Unfortunately, they’re not. The man next to me (why are they always next to me?) checked his phone throughout the film. The selfie queens got up and went out, then came in again, balancing trays of nachos on buckets of pop.

It didn’t escape my notice that the children in the cinema were better behaved than the adults. If only Mary Poppins herself had poked her head out of the screen and snapped her fingers to make the grown-ups and their wretched mobiles disappear...

I’m tired of selfies. They’ve been around for ages, and people are still obsessed with them. My friend, a college tutor, despairs of her students, constantly posing for them. “It’s an addiction,” she said.

I once saw a man take a lone selfie in a convenience store. It was tragic. A Facebook friend recently posted an unflattering close-up on a train to Leeds. The glamour...

But are these tedious selfies, in cinemas, trains and shops, much different to the daredevil selfies that cost people their lives? It’s all narcissism. Nothing says “me, me, me” like a selfie, and pushing the boundaries, whether hanging from the top of a skyscraper or dangling over a lion pit, means even more ‘likes’ and jaw-drop emojis. And that’s what counts, right?

In the end it probably didn’t count for the two men posing for selfies as they pulled the pin from a hand grenade. Or the woman grinning into her phone, hanging from a 40ft bridge, before falling onto a busy highway. Or the man who accidentally shot himself in the neck taking a gun selfie. Or the visitors to a Texas nature park regularly gored by bison who don’t understand waiting patiently until the selfie stick’s in the right position.

Late last year Chinese climber Wu Yongning scaled a skyscraper with no safety equipment and filmed himself hanging off the roof by his fingertips. Perhaps inevitably, the 26-year-old fell more than 60 floors to his death, and a clip of his final moments went viral, raising questions about the role of the “cash for clips” industry in such tragedies.

His high-rise selfies had amassed a social media fanbase, with a million followers presumably waiting for him to put a foot wrong.

If people want to take extreme selfies, it’s up to them. I just feel for the emergency services who have to clear up the mess, the train driver forever plagued by the railway line selfie that didn’t go to plan, and the parents of a young man with his life ahead of him, who chose to gamble with it instead, posing with his phone dangling from a sky-scraper rooftop.