If you and I are connected in any way, shape, or form on social media, and you have posted a photo where you are non-ironically using a selfie stick, I have judged you.
And I am utterly unrepentant about this fact.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good selfie from time to time. Are you feeling your look? Post that mirror pic, girl. Have you been quietly going through a radical fitness transformation and you finally want the world to see? Please, let those abs loose! Goodness knows I need motivation to start doing planks on my own! I’m guilty of posting a selfie on a particularly good hair day, and I’ll be the first to admit that I love the vanity high that comes with seeing people like your photo. But, I do draw the line somewhere, and that somewhere is when you need to attach your phone to a three-foot projectile to take a picture.
Here are some occasions where selfie sticks are acceptable:
- You are alone in the glacial tundra and you happen upon a friendly photogenic seal. Yay seals!
- You are using your selfie stick for buoyancy to escape quicksand (that you presumably fell into while texting).
- You are the sole surviving member of the human race and you wish to document the post-apocalyptic landscape for posterity.
If none of these situations apply to you, throw that thing in the trash and start talking to strangers.
Talking to strangers is one of my favorite activities. While our parents strongly advised against this practice in our youth, striking up a meaningful conversation with a random individual is one of the best skills we can have at this point in our lives. It’s more than just a great way to make new connections. It’s becoming a lost art.
A while ago, I asked a non-ironic selfie stick owner why they purchased what I can only view as a fishing pole for sad photographs, and they replied it’s easier to take a picture on their own rather than ask someone to do it. However, is it really that much easier? Language barriers aren’t an excuse – hand gestures tend to serve just fine. Most people aren’t bothered by taking thirty seconds to take a picture. At the end of the day, it has to do with the fact that we’ve gotten so comfortable with being inside our own spheres, and we’ve forgotten how to go outside of them.
When you are using a selfie stick, you’re literally putting a gap between yourself and the world around you. A 3-foot gap in the shape of a metal pole with your phone attached, to be precise. Holding up the selfie stick closes your universe – you’re flat-out refusing to acknowledge the other individuals who are in the moment with you, whether you know them or not. Although it’s easy to create your own personal bubble in a world teeming with other life, it’s really, really isolating.
Personally, I think we’d all be better people if we released our fears of interaction with the unknown and asked someone to take a photo for us. I’m of the belief that people are inherently good – and we’re depriving ourselves of understanding a vital element of humanity if we don’t seek to expand our boundaries. Let’s do better to push those parameters. Burst your comfort bubble. And please, put down the f#%&ing selfie stick.