Selfie Stick Etiquette 101
As the old saying goes, obnoxious jerkiness is in the hands of the selfie stick user…or something like that. The point is that using one of these camera accessories is not, as some would claim, inherently obnoxious, jerky, or rude.
Just like so many other modern inventions, the selfie stick can be used for good or evil. And considering the fact that the selfie doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon and that selfie sticks give you far superior selfies, we figured it was time to deliver a crash course in using selfie sticks without being a totally obnoxious jerkface.
DON’T Put Someone’s Eye Out
The worst danger of using a selfie stick is not embarrassment or public ridicule – it’s actually injuring someone because you’re not paying attention to where you’re sticking your stick. Just as you’d take care when opening an umbrella on the sidewalk, you should take caution when using a selfie stick in public. You can avoid all risk by just not using it in crowded or enclosed places at all.
DON’T Ruin the View
One of the greatest advantages of the selfie stick is that it allows you to capture your face and whatever amazing thing is behind you like never before. But it’s critical for us to remember that there are probably other people who are trying to check out that amazing thing as well and we don’t want to ruin their experience for the sake of our photo. Ditto for weddings or any other important events where extending your phone on a stick might mess up someone else’s view, photo or special moment.
DON’T Selfie Stick While Walking
You may feel the temptation to create a cool self-shot video documentary of your travels or your daily adventures around town by holding your selfie stick out in front of you as you swagger down the street, but please don’t. Not only do you risk ramming someone in the face because you’re too busy making sure you look super cool, but you risk injuring yourself if don’t see that dip in the sidewalk or the car coming down the street. No video journal is worth a trip to the ER for you or anyone else.
DON’T Forget That Other People Exist
The biggest complaint we’ve heard about selfie sticks is that people using them become magically unaware of the fact that there are other humans in their midst. So if you jump on the selfie stick craze, just remember to always ask yourself, “Will my selfie stick bother, injure, disrespect or otherwise upset someone around me?” before whipping it out.
If the answer is, “No,” then by all means, get your selfie stick on. And when you do, snap a couple and be done with it – the line between ok and obnoxious gets blurred the longer you carry on a public photo shoot of yourelf.
DON’T Be Offensive
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t really take any type of picture at a solemn, scary or disastrous occasion. That’s why we, as a society, have been so disturbed by people snapping selfies at funerals, fires and concentration camps – is nothing sacred? But if snapping a sneaky selfie is borderline inappropriate, then drawing attention to yourself with a selfie stick is just downright offensive.
DO Get Huge Group Shots
The cool thing about selfie sticks is that they actually encourage selfies that are far less selfish – the handy gadget lets you easily snap a photo with all 12 people at your monthly friend dinner, or get the whole family in together at the next reunion. You can stop smooshing your faces together and saying, “Go go gadget arm!” when even the guy with the longest limbs can’t reach far enough to get everyone in the frame.
DO Capture Gorgeous Landscapes
Whether you want your face in there or not, you can capture wide, expansive shots of natural beauty with a selfie stick. Hold the stick aloft and get a cool angle that you never would have been able to get on your own.
DO Take Selfies That Don’t Look Like Selfies
When it comes to getting a picture of yourself that you dig enough to become your new profile pic or post on Tinder, the struggle is real. Somehow every candid your friends snap looks like garbage and you don’t want all your photos to be selfies. But a selfie stick cleverly allows you to snap all kinds of self-taken shots that don’t necessarily scream, “THIS IS A SELFIE!” Yes, it’s trickery, but it’s for a good cause.
DO Get a Better View
If you’re somewhat height challenged, you probably deal with tall blindness, meaning you lose your sense of sight over a certain height. So you know you’ve got the Cumin somewhere in that high cabinet you never use, but where? Snap the selfie stick onto your phone and it’s like a periscope to see ahead of you in a crowd or just find what’s hiding in a high cabinet.
DO Snap a Sweet Crowd Shot
OK, I know I told you not to use the selfie stick in a crowded place, and that stands, but if you can get to a free spot where you won’t be in danger of bonking any heads, you can use a selfie stick to get an epic picture of a huge event like a festival or a concert. Only the extra height will help you get a shot that shows the scale of the scene.
Before you either blindly reject selfie sticks or hastily embrace them, it’s important to remember that they are only as good or bad as you are when you use them.
ContributorMiLLENNiAL is a lifestyle magazine profiling those who are shaping the world we experience. From business innovation and career strategy to sustainable health and cultural disruptors, MiLLENNiAL shines the light on the young change makers of the world.