The Selfie Stick: The Bane of Travel?

To all my fellow travelers, explorers, and globetrotters, today I want to bring up a very controversial topic, the selfie stick.  I know, it’s not a new gadget, but it is rampant and I don’t know about you, but I kind of despise it.  Ok, well… let’s back up for a moment before I get all hot and bothered.

I’ve never been a selfie stick person to begin with mainly because I’m not a selfie kind of gal.  So, I never owned one. But, I was gifted one randomly and so my husband and I took it with us on a recent trip to Europe.  We figured, hey let’s give this selfie stick thing a shot and see what it’s all about.  It was an experiment if you will.  After a few weeks of selfie stick action here is my conclusion:

Yes, it does make it easier to take a selfie with you and some iconic site like the Eiffel Tower.

Yes, you look better because you are farther away from the camera.

And yes, you can get some good images without having to ask someone to take it for you.

A couple taking a selfie with Big Ben using a selfie stick in London, England

(This is one of our earlier attempts as you can tell, the stick is in the photo)

I get it, really, I do.  But, man is it an eyesore not to mention that you can actually take someone’s eye out with it (this probably has happened to someone).

I also feel the need to mention that you feel rather douchey doing it.  Not that I care what other tourists think of me, but ugh, you just feel like an idiot with this stupid stick.  I found myself trying to pull it out quickly and then shove it in my purse as fast as I could.  I didn’t want anything to do with it.  Honestly, I was ashamed of it.

Now, of course, not everyone is like me and there are certainly people who are selfie stick advocates.  I just can’t get behind it and really it has nothing to do with anything I’ve mentioned so far.  In the end, my problem with the selfie stick is that it interferes with the experience.  Not just for you personally, but for others. You have people jockeying to get in the right position with their stick, not thinking about anyone else.  It really does ruin the view, the place, the whole immersion.

Girl with a macbook selfie stick in Times Square, New York

(This is an exaggerated example with a Macbook, but you get the idea)

What I find really interesting is that popular sites are now banning selfie sticks, like museums.  I was just at the new SF MOMA the other day and saw their no selfie stick sign.  I totally applaud them.  The ban forces you to be there, in the moment and appreciate what is in front of you.  Which, let’s be honest, really can change the whole experience and purpose for why you are taking the time to visit a place.  But then the question becomes, why should someone have to force you to do that?

So, if you are a selfie stick person, I challenge you to consider the alternative.  Is it that hard to ask someone to take a photo of you if you really want one?  No.  And you might even meet someone new.  More importantly, would you rather have a photo or an actual memory? I’ll take the memory any day.

What do you think about the selfie stick?  Let us know in a comment below.

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