At 50 years of age, one would think that I have absolutely nothing in common with the Selfie Generation, a generation that immediately followed Generation Y (why do we have to do what you say) which of course followed the oh-so-magnificent-we-must-cater-to-your–every-need Millennial generation. No…..I should have nothing in common.
But I do.
My name is Judy and I own a Narcissi-stick otherwise known as a “selfie stick”.
Go ahead….judge me. Honestly though…are you surprised? Pfft.
I have looked enviously at the Instagram accounts of movie stars, how they seem to take the best pictures of themselves and wondered, “How do they do it? How do they seem to have a photographer hovering above them to capture the very best light…the very best angle? Do they have freakishly long arms?”
They had a secret and its name was “selfie stick”.
For those who don’t know and are too embarrassed to ask, a selfie stick looks like an umbrella handle with a clamp on the end allowing you to place your smart phone in the clamp and extend the umbrella arm sufficiently allowing you to take a picture of you and your friends. Some are very simple and you need to use your camera phone timer to take the picture, others have a little jack (a cord with a shiny metal end, not a little man named Jack although that would be funny and cute) that plugs into your phone allowing you to take the picture by pressing a button on the selfie stick.
Then you share the photo on social media and wait for comments: “I love your hair”, “You look amazing”, “Have you lost weight?”. Note: If you post said selfie photo and receive no positive emotional reinforcement, it can be hard on your ego (at least that is what a friend told me).
Supply and demand. We supply the photo, you supply the self esteem boosts.
Hey….it’s a sharing economy don’t you know!
No harm no foul right? Except that the extendable monopods are getting banned everywhere! From the Colosseum in Rome to our very own Encana Event Centre, be warned: Selfie Sticks are NOT welcome (oh yeah…..neither are drones).
Whereas the Encana Event Centre is banning them because they could be used as a weapon (I actually agree with this), the Colosseum is banning them because they believe they could be a threat to the ancient structure. Makes sense……the Colosseum has lasted thousands of years, but it will all come crashing down because of a rogue selfie stick. Sigh……
Come on! Tell us the real reason!
Selfie sticks are being banned because they are irritating, distracting, weapons of mass self -indulgence. Oh yeah…..they are ALSO pointy so perhaps you should place them in your checked luggage when traveling.
I’m just sayin.
Except what Judy?
Except that there IS a time and a place for a selfie stick and I will tell you when and where and why. First though, I will ask any mother’s out there with children over the age of 20, “How many pictures in your photo album include you?”
Not many, if any.
Back in the day, the mom was behind the camera documenting their children’s successes and accomplishments. From vacations to graduation ceremonies, mom was taking the picture.
I can hear it now, “Oh no….you get in with the group, I will take the picture” says every mom.
If only someone had not invented a gadget that allowed mom to actually BE in the photo with her children.
Or her grandchildren.
So, feel free to scoff at the guy who walks into the wall because he is trying to film himself using a selfie stick, but smile indulgently at the mom or grandmom who is finally having the opportunity to be IN the picture.
(Previously posted in my column in the Alaska Highway News)