A Defense of the Selfie Stick

A Defense of the Selfie Stick

There’s been a lot of negative chatter about selfie sticks over the last couple of months.

Run a quick search for “selfie stick bans,” and you’ll find a plethora of places that have disallowed the little device; albeit the majority of places on these lists appear to be museums, and why people want to take a picture of a piece of art when there are so many beautifully done prints is completely beyond me.

Disney World has been the most recent place to ban the stick, but they seem to have a legitimate reason: people were using selfie sticks while on the rides. I can’t fathom anything that could possibly go wrong while using a selfie stick on, say, Space Mountain, could you?

These bans only seem to fuel the selfie stick hate. On my Facebook feed, I’ve seen the following comments within the past week:

I’m not saying you CAN’T own a selfie stick. But please know that if I see you use it, I will definitely make fun of you.

I have started taking pictures of vanity stick users. I shall spread their shame.

I already have a selfie stick. It’s called my arm.

And when I mentioned I had a selfie stick to a friend, I was met with eye rolls and an exasperated, “How could you be so vain?” Expecting the selfie stick hate, I went into defense mode, listing the reasons why I love the selfie stick. For as silly as these sticks look when you’re using them, they really are a fantastic photography tool.

So here are my top five reasons why you should let go of the hate and embrace the selfie stick.

  1. Pictures with people are more interesting. Think back to some of the pictures you took on your favorite trip. Which one is more appealing: the picture of the monument/landscape/building or the picture of you in front of the monument/landscape/building?

    Ceide Fields or me and my mom at Ceide Fields
    View from Ceide Fields (taken with the regular camera) / Mom and me at Ceide Fields
  2. You don’t have to ask someone to take your picture. Asking someone you don’t know to take your photo can be awkward, and there’s always the risk that person will run off with your camera. And what if no one else is around?

    Mom and I taking pictures without the awkward ask
    Mom and me at the Cliffs of Moher / Gravity Bar in Dublin
  3. You can set up the shot. I’m not a professional photographer, but I know how to frame a picture. It drives me absolutely bonkers when I ask someone to take my picture, and they have zero artistic know how.

    On the left, a picture someone else took; on the right, a better view
    Picture a stranger took with regular camera / Selfie stick picture that actually shows the cliffs
  4. Everyone can be in the picture. While in Ireland, the people in our little group were often the only people around. By using the selfie stick, we could get everyone in the picture, and one person wasn’t left out because s/he was the one taking the photo.

    Reason_4_Everyone
    Everyone at Molly Gallivan’s / Everyone at Garnish Island
  5. Traveling solo? You can get a picture of yourself by yourself. While in Ireland, there were multiple times when I raced to the edge of a cliff or hiked somewhere the rest of my group didn’t go. Should I have skipped the picture because people would think I was a narcissist? Doubt it.

    Too close to the edge for Mom, and the slippery rocks of Giants Causeway
    Too close to the edge for Mom at Cliffs of Moher / Too slippery for Mom at Giants Causeway

So should you get a selfie stick? Absolutely. The selfie stick is just another tool in a photographer’s arsenal. All the pictures above, except where noted, were taken with my phone and a selfie stick.

Should you be afraid you’ll be shamed because you’re using the vanity stick? Probably not. Despite all the internet rage about selfie sticks, I only encountered curious tourists interested in seeing how it worked.

And on one occasion, as I was leaning over the edge of the Cliffs of Moher to take this selfie, I sheepishly apologized to the guy next to me for using my “douchey” selfie stick. His reaction? He smiled and said, “My wife’s running around here somewhere with mine.”
Cliffs_of_Moher

Thanks to Cass over at Jeans and a Tank Top for being the selfie stick fairy and giving me one before my trip. You can read her thoughts about the little device here.

2 thoughts on “A Defense of the Selfie Stick

  1. Tom Hanks on the Selfie Stick: “They sell these all over Florence, which is the birthplace of the Renaissance.”

    Also, I really like being the Selfie Stick Fairy. It makes me sound rather whimsical and fun!

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