The social-court presents Selfie-Stick vs everyone else.
First let me start by saying, the fact that many people refer to it as a ‘narcissist’ stick annoys me. We need to break it down, and let’s simplify the use of this ‘selfie-stick’.
Pre-Selfie Sticks and Pre-iPhone where one could take their own photos, we relied on the kindness of strangers to take our photos; I use this term ‘kindness’ loosely these days, as I’m sure we think twice and let 10 people pass by us before we find the right person to take a photo. Or we attempted to use our personal cameras to take photos of ourselves with people and attractions… half the photos have someone’s head chopped off, or the monument was nowhere to be seen.
Then the technology advanced, and it allowed us to tone our skills into taking better photographs of ourselves and friends AND places and icons. The reversible cameras and previews allowed for better snaps to be positioned and angels and lighting to ensure that one photo was taken and it was done. However the NARCISSIST of the world ( Kim Kardashian) upped that level and took TOO many narcissist selfies of themselves and in turn giving what was once an innocent ‘let’s take a photo’ to a terminology despised by everyone ‘Let’s take a selfie’.
Now, the matter at hand is the Selfie-Stick…, first off, I think it was named incorrectly and branded to a market at a cost. A selfie stick isn’t a selfie stick… those narcissist will continue to take their photos even when the selfie-stick is banned and gone, so in defense to the selfie-stick its a god-send for solo-travelers, giving them the possibility to take their own photos, for family reunions to be able to take the photo with “EVERYONE” in it, for panoramic views to be captured with you in it.
I completely agree with many venues that have banned the use of the ‘selfie-stick’ for reasons of safety and preservation of their collections. But that’s a matter I’ll get to in a minute. But I think the fact that the selfie-stick has been given a bad name is completely unfair.
Lets take a closer look.
Stranger vs Selfie Stick for Solo Travelers (or groups of friends).
I’ve been to New York many times, and trying to take a photo of yourself in front of the Brooklyn Bridge is hard as it is, it’s difficult because of the magnitude of the bridge, because of the amount of people who are going up and down the bridge and because it’s a thoroughfare bridge it’s constantly flowing with people going up and down, so stopping to set up a tripod and take a photo isn’t ideal.
You stand there, with your camera, looking around, enter the stranger who has offered to take your photos (or you’ve filtered about 10 people before you found someone you thought was trust worthy and wasn’t going to run off with your SLR camera), so you pose, he takes a few photos, hands back your camera and walks away, you preview (lucky we get to preview now) the photos, and your head is chopped off or the bridge isn’t even in the image, or someone has photo-bombed your photo… what do you do? Run after him and ask him to take another photo? No, you continue walking along the bridge cursing yourself and the idiotic skills of other people who don’t know how to take photos…. seriously how many of you guys have done this?
Two years later, you’re on the same bridge with your friend, doing a tour, lots of people on the bridge, the bridge is still huge, but you have a selfie stick now… you attach your camera, you switch on your blue tooth, and extend the arm, you angle it so that both you and your friend are in the photo but bonus, you get it positioned so that you have the magnificent bridge in the background…, snap snap two photos done, pack the selfie stick away and continue on the tour.
Family gatherings and groups functions
Picture this, you finally get your group of friends together for a dinner, or party, and you’re all having a great time, and then you hear the “Hey let’s take a photo”, in unison everyone’s like “yeh yeh”, great, they all take positions, and then someone pipes up “who’s going to take the photo” glances are exchanged when the penny drops, that someone’s going to miss out on being in the photo… and then you have to take a second photo because that person is missing, but it’s not the same….Selfie Stick to the Rescue!
Museums and concerts
I completely understand the no selfie stick in museums. The collections in these museums have been preserved and maintained for hundreds of years, a stick should not be waved around these items. In a museum the circumstances are different, everyone has a camera, everyone will be taking photos, find someone and ask them, take the time to direct them how you want your photo taken.
Concerts are the same deal, there are too many people in the crowds to be holding and waving a stick around (same goes for banners), remember that the person next to you, behind you and in front of you have probably paid about the same money you have to see their favourite artist! Don’t go shoving a stick in front of them or a banner. (This rule does not apply to standing up and dancing).
But with both the above, I would say, take a few photos, and put your cameras away. Enjoy the show, enjoy the exhibition, take the time to capture the moments in your mind, let the flow of what the artists have done embrace you, breathe it in, lose yourself among the sculptures, the details of the masterpiece, the provoking performance, just enjoy the show…. because if you spend the time just taking photos or videotaping performances you may as well stay home, watch everything online and not experience it yourself.
I think the selfie-stick should be allowed in areas that are not putting people at harm’s way, I think selfie-sticks are a must have when you are travelling solo or with friends, I think selfie-sticks should be re-branded to ‘mobile-tripods’ and more than anything I think they should be rid of the ‘narcissistic’ stigma so many people have put on it.
The selfies, will be around forever and ever, because suddenly everyone’s self-esteem has skyrocketed and the need for 1001 pouts poses need to be uploaded to Instagram, but blame us, blame the people who hit the like buttons, because clearly the more likes, the more duck-faces.
But then again, who doesn’t like a selfie?