Wanna a better selfie? Get a selfie stick Tourists use a selfie stick on the Trocadero Square, with the Eiffel Tower in background, in Paris (AP photos)
Wanna a better selfie? Get a selfie stick
Lexile

Selfies are nothing new. But until recently, if you wanted a picture of yourself with a landmark in the background, you might have asked a passer-by to take the photo.

Now, though, gadgets called selfie sticks make it easy. Fans say the expandable rods, which allow users to hold their cellphones a few feet away, are the ultimate convenience. No more bothering passers-by to take pictures. No more fretting about strangers taking lousy shots.

But critics express outright hatred of selfie sticks. They see them as obnoxious symbols of self-absorption. They even have a derisive name for them: narcissi (nar-sissy) stick.

Sarah Kinling lives in Baltimore. She said she was approached "17 times" by vendors selling selfie sticks at the Colosseum in Rome.

"They're the new fanny pack. The quickest way to spot a tourist," she said. "The more I saw them in use, the more I saw how much focus people were putting on selfies. And not turning around to see what they were there to see."

When Kinling wanted a photo of herself with her sister and sister-in-law, she asked strangers to take the shot.

"Even when the other person didn't speak English, you hold your camera up and make the motion. And they understand," she said.

But some travelers say it's better to stage your own vacation photos. Andrea Garcia asked a passer-by to take her photo in Egypt. She later realized he'd zoomed in on her face, cutting out the pyramids behind her.

"I couldn't really be mad at him. He wasn't my photographer. I didn't pay him," she said.

The experience made her appreciate the selfie sticks. She sees tourists using them at 1 World Trade near her office in New York's Lower Manhattan.

"Take control of your image!" she says.

Selfie sticks are just starting to show up at attractions in the U.S. But they're found in many destinations overseas. That includes Dubai's skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. And the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A soccer stadium in London, White Hart Lane, has even banned them. That's because they obstruct other fans' views.

The sticks range in price from $5 to $50. Simpler models merely grip the phone. So users must trigger the shot with a self-timer on the camera. More sophisticated versions use Bluetooth technology. Or they connect the phone to the stick with a cord. A button on the grip triggers the shot.

Critical thinking challenge: Selfie sticks are not available everywhere yet. Why is it easier to buy a selfie stick at a landmark?

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COMMENTS (19)
  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    2/02/2015 - 08:16 p.m.

    There is one bad thing about selfie sticks and one good thing about selfie sticks. First of all, selfie sticks can be useful so that they could give you more background and you don't really drop it. But the bad thing is that you can't really tap the "take the picture" button while you're trying to do your photo. The article said that if you wanted to use the selfie stick to take photos, you will have to use the self-timer on the camera. I would just want to tap the camera button and simple as that. It's because self-timers will take three seconds or less. It would be better to do it just one click and you're done with the photo. I know most people do like selfie sticks sometimes, but then in my opinion, they're not really good to me.

  • 09Garrett-May
    2/03/2015 - 12:13 p.m.

    This is one silly invention. A selfie stick? You got to be kidding me! Whouldn`t the stick be visible in the selfie? thats why this invention is crazy.

  • AliannaR-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    I love this deice i think it could be really helpful to people I like taking pictures and my family takes a lot of trips so this could work for me .

  • AliannaR-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    I love this deice i think it could be really helpful to people I like taking pictures and my family takes a lot of trips so this could work for me .

  • ArelyO-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

    That is so cool taking photos of yourself. You don't have to ask anyone to take a photo so they can steal your phone.

  • CharlotteR-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:11 p.m.

    Selfie sticks sounds completely dumb!I mean its so easy to take a selfie without it in my opinion!

  • JuliannaS-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:42 p.m.

    This selfie stick is super cool it must be very easy to take a selfie with this thing it looks so awesome.

  • JacquelineS-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:43 p.m.

    I love this idea but its easy to take a selfie without that.

  • lorraine01
    2/05/2015 - 10:28 a.m.

    I really love the idea of a selfies stick to use it when you want a selfies with a good background.But I think is not common yet but I think went it come out I will buy it.

  • jacob4-Bla
    2/05/2015 - 01:28 p.m.

    That is crazy!! I think that is outrageus there is no point of a selfie stick.You can take a selfie with out a selfie stick.

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