Tuesday, 08 September 2015 08:46

One selfie on a stick please

selfie sticks - now banned in many places selfie sticks - now banned in many places

No matter how hard I try, I don’t seem to be able to keep up with ‘all these technical things’.

I have recently had the pleasure of going on a boat party with some friends on a huge catamaran – 2 decks,  lots of space for about 100 people, great music, ice-cold beer, a wonderful breeze, nice people to talk to… just perfect. Those views of Limassol from the sea – just lovely .

There were times when you were hard pressed to get a picture of that shoreline without a selfie stick being poked across your viewfinder.

I was amazed, intrigued, amused and yes… confused.

I personally find there is nothing wrong with a good picture of yourself, having a good time at a place where you like to be seen… after all, it is a certain kind of ‘image’ most of us strive to project on our social media profiles – and I do assume that’s why we all want our pictures taken in the first place these days. It’s not like we are going to have it developed and send it to our mum.

As a passionate hobby-photographer I have only recently broken down to admit that yes, most of those mobile phones actually do take really good pictures. And yet, when someone asks me to take their picture with their phone I’ll still whine ‘Can’t I use my camera and send you the picture later?’

I do see how using your phone to take pictures is practical and I also see how putting it onto a stick to get the right angle is practical, but to me it just seems ‘wrong’.

Probably I am old-fashioned, but I quite like the interactive aspect of asking someone else, possibly even a stranger, to take your picture. I remember several fun encounters after having picked some real jokers for that ‘job’ during my solo travels.

I find it looks awkward when there’s only a model all engrossed in smiling at that mobile phone – on a stick!

I did get a chuckle when during some research on the matter I read in a recent article on BBC’s website: “The selfie stick has become so common that it is now widely seen as a nuisance – it has been banned from stadiums, concerts, museums and even from the next Apple conference.”

And yet it seems it was once considered so unnecessary, that it was included in the book of 101 Un-Useless Japanese Inventions (things that are almost completely useless, but not quite) – along with dust slippers for cats…

Fortunately the atmosphere on that boat was too light-hearted to get too worried over this predicament, but I do find it a bit sad that not only have we swapped the ‘real world’ for the online world when at home, but also seem to be forgetting the pleasure of being with ‘real people’ when we are away from our computers – replacing it with the pleasure of being with yet another technical device that will instantly put us back into that online world.

I do hope that this is just a fad and more people will soon consider those sticks as logistically clever, but not as good as a friend or even stranger helping you with that photo.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 4th 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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