Selfie Stick Etiquette
I work for a big electronic retailer and the day we started selling selfie sticks I knew I had to have one. Don’t judge me.
Since then I’ve picked up two selfie sticks and a mini tripod that serves as one when folded up. This has lead to my friends giving me shit for being ‘one of those people’.
The selfie stick was labelled as the best stocking stuffer during the 2014 holidays, – it’s just that none of my friends own one. I always wondered why, up until my recent trip to NYC when I began to grasp why some see selfie sticks as an epidemic. I now understand the safety risks they pose and the reasons they’ve actually been banned at Disney theme parks and various music festivals.
My Stance on Selfie Sticks
Selfie sticks solve the problem of having to ask strangers for assistance. Personally, I hate asking strangers if they can help me take a photo. In the two minutes it takes for a stranger to figure out how they can use the camera on your iPhone they might be doing other things ie. checking your Facebook, sifting through photos, or just sifting through personal data in general. What if this stranger had the nerve to run away with your device? You’d be out hundreds of dollars and feel pretty stupid is what.
Selfie sticks really only have one real use. Pictures and videos just look better when using a selfie stick. Remember when GoPros were fresh to the market? Everyone loved that super wide-angle look. Sure, the front facing camera on your cellphone isn’t equipped with a wide angle lens, but selfie sticks provide a similar-looking effect. It’s nice to suddenly be able to fit you, five friends, and the Toronto skyline into one photo.
How To Not Use Selfie Sticks
Loads of public spaces and events are banning selfie sticks. In a recent trip to NYC you could find the item sold at many popular street corners for $5-10 a piece. It was crazy. You could instantly tell who wasn’t from around there if you spotted a selfie stick. In some cases the users would be so unaware of what they were doing that they’d physically harm other pedestrians.
The problem with selfie sticks is the user.
If you’re going to use your selfie stick then be aware of your surroundings and consider these other ground rules when using your selfie stick:
- Don’t Walk Around With It Fully Extended
Do everyone a favor and do not walk around everywhere with your selfie stick pointed up in the air, fully extended, ready to shoot. The only exception is if you are actually ready to shoot your selfie. Selfie sticks typically extend further than an arms-length away from the body and even vloggers typically don’t walk around with their cameras more than an arms-length away.
- Plan Your Shot
Let’s capture the moment here. I’m not suggesting you plan a professional photo shoot but think about two things: who you want in the photo, and whether or not there are things in the background that you want to include. How technical you want things is really up to you.
- Shoot When Safe
Along the lines of the first rule, do everyone a favor and shoot your photo(s) when safe. Make sure you aren’t going to hit anyone with your selfie stick. You wouldn’t want to be liable for taking out someone’s eye.