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Why Everyone Should Carry a Selfie Stick

Photo via Buzzfeed video (screenshot)

Photo via Buzzfeed video (screenshot)

I love my selfie sticks. Yes, I have more than one. I take one with me whenever I go on a trip — most recently, to Disney World in Florida. And instead of receiving judgmental glances like I thought we would, my boyfriend and I were met with excited questions from curious onlookers. More often than not, people wanted to know where to get one so they, too, could capture precious moments, without flagging down strangers and imploring them to take the shot.

Sure, the selfie stick has been banned in a number of places,from the Palace of Versailles in France and the Colosseum in Rome, to soccer stadiums in Brazil and England and American museums such as the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art. But when you're thoughtful about how and where you use the tool, it can be a great way to capture fond memories.

People hate the selfie stick for a number of reasons — it's an obstruction, it's dangerous, or, as the South Korean government claims, some may cause Bluetooth interference. One of my co-workers even quipped that "the selfie stick is the height of narcissism." He, like many other people, despise selfie sticks for the same reasons they detest duck faces.

But if you think about it, how is using the selfie stick not improving our lives? You and your partner don't need to take pictures of each other alone on your honeymoon anymore, and you can squeeze more people, and more of the background, into your shot.

MORE: How to Take a Great Selfie

And what's wrong with selfies? People have been taking self and group portraits since the first daguerreotypes became available in 1839. Smartphones and selfie sticks make this process easier, but the concept has been around for 175 years.

We don't have to waste time waiting around for a pleasant-looking passerby to help take a family portrait or worry about a stranger running off with our cameras (or worse, smartphones) anymore.

Using a selfie stick also gives us more creative freedom over what goes into our pictures, as we can see what the image looks like before clicking the trigger. This saves time, because you don't have to review your photo and then reshoot if you don't like the result.

And honestly, how much more of an obstruction is the selfie stick compared to a human photographer taking photos of another person? The selfie-stick users who get in our way are the very same people who cluelessly stand in the middle of the sidewalk, trying to snap a photo of the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center while busy passersby try angrily to get around them.

The same common sense that applies to taking pictures anywhere applies to using a selfie stick. Look around you before whipping out your monopod or camera. Don't stop in the middle of the street. Be considerate of passersby, and be respectful of the time and place.

Deriding or banning selfie sticks is not very different from picking on selfie lovers for wanting to remember a special moment. There is no shame in that. Selfie lovers, ignore the haters, and (selfie) stick to your guns.

Lead image via Buzzfeed [screenshot]

Staff Writer Cherlynn Low is the selfie queen, according to her and some of her friends. Follow her @cherlynnlow. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.

  • rutherfordsc
    This is the type of behavior you are supporting.
    Reply
  • CherlynnLow
    Stop hating, Mr. Rutherford. And that's a good (ish) song.
    Reply
  • jpishgar
    Awesome. Selfie Stick Pride!
    Reply
  • jldevoy
    Todays main problem seems to be that we live in a narcissistic nightmare where people spend more time documenting concerts etc than actually enjoying them.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    Its not like you have not been able to do the same thing with a monopod(even a closed tripod) + remote in the past.

    Used with care, it will not hurt anyone.

    It is just lighter now(mostly because the phone is much lighter).

    Not that I would ever get one because I have a camera for picture taking.

    15502757 said:
    Todays main problem seems to be that we live in a narcissistic nightmare where people spend more time documenting concerts etc than actually enjoying them.
    Because people getting more online votes or attention feel better about them selves.
    People take pictures to post on the internet when a car crash happens instead of seeing if everyone is ok.
    Reply
  • alicepattinson
    I think it is to always be prepared in taking selfie using a Selfie Stick Pro. :)
    Reply
  • Dandalf
    "But if you think about it, how is using the selfie stick not improving our lives?"

    Okay Cherlynn I've thought about it as you challenged, and here is my answer to your question. It is not improving our lives, as it's a very immediate reminder of the increasingly self-absorbed nature of our society. For some people this can be depressing, and can result in feelings of alienation. That's why it's not improving our lives.
    Reply
  • CherlynnLow
    Lol, thanks @Jpishgar ! Agreed! Maybe we should have a selfie stick pride parade!! hehe

    @nukemaster SUCH a good point!! social media's made everything a competition, but that's another story for another time...

    @alicepattinson what is a Selfie Stick Pro? Is that a particular brand of selfie stick?

    @jldevoy that's somewhat true - i don't like when people overdocument their lives - like how every run or gym workout is a triumph
    Reply
  • rutherfordsc
    I think one of the underlying frustrations with selfies, is that selfies and selfie sticks feel like they reward selfishness. Isn't it better to foster a sense of community by having a friendly passerby help you take a photo? It'll probably look better too.
    Reply
  • JeckeL
    I just carry a golf club & duct tape with me everywhere

    Reply