As someone not particularly keen on selfie taking, my love for selfie sticks has taken me by surprise. After receiving one for Christmas it soon became a family favourite when we successfully took a picture of all (18!) of us around the table. We also found that it was perfect on holiday for taking pictures with a scenic background rather than ending up with the usual close-up, arm-in-the-way, sister-cropped-out selfies we used to get pre-stick. But selfie sticks have received lots of negativity with cynics calling them narcissistic and a sign of an increasingly self-obsessed society. Yet surely it’s no worse than asking a passer-by or a fellow tourist to take a photo of you as people often do.
So, after recently booking a summer holiday to Rome, my thoughts quickly turned to the kind of photo opportunities my selfie stick would allow. My friend, however, was less than impressed when I told her I wanted to bring it along with us. Just wait till we get the perfect shot at the Colosseum, I boasted. Plus, I’m sure everyone will be walking round with them so there’s no fear of looking uncool, I guaranteed. Days later my dream was shattered with the news that selfie sticks have been banned at the Colosseum, for fear that they could cause damage to the 2000 year old monument. A spokesman said that ‘the twirling around of hundreds of sticks can become unwittingly dangerous’.
No selfies here!
In fact, many other institutions have followed suit recently; last week The National Gallery and The Palace of Versailles officially banned the sticks from being used. They have also been banned from O2 music venues and Wembley Arena on the grounds of health and safety. Stoke-on-Trent live music venue The Sugarmill have also banned them and posted this picture which makes their feelings on the sticks very clear:
However, you’re fine to use them in the Natural History Museum, the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum – that is, unless they decide to implement a ban in the future.
And for the haters, things are only getting worse, since selfie drones are on the way. Yep, people are developing nano drones, meaning that you’ll be able to take a picture of yourself from a bird’s eye view. This next level might be taking selfies too far, but apparently it’s what the future holds; it seems that the war on selfie culture is a never ending one.
Edited by Nicole Jones