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 at tourist attractions are nothing new. But until recently, if you wanted a perfectly composed picture of yourself with Times Square or the Colosseum in the background, you might have asked a passer-by to take the photo.

Now, though, relatively new gadgets called selfie sticks make it easy to take your own wide-angled self-portraits or group shots. 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 or running off with a pricey iPhone.

But some travelers bemoan the loss of that small interaction that came with politely asking a local to help preserve a memory. And critics express outright hatred of selfie sticks as obnoxious symbols of self-absorption. They even have a derisive name for them, playing on the narcissistic behavior they think the sticks encourage: narcissi-stick.

Sarah Kinling of Baltimore 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 and 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 at 1 World Trade near her office in 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, from Dubai's skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A soccer stadium in London, White Hart Lane, has even banned them because they obstruct other fans' views.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Houston just started making them available to guests last week, "similar to the way many hotels provide umbrellas," said hotel spokeswoman Laura Pettitt.

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 either use Bluetooth technology or connect the phone to the stick with a cord, with a button on the grip triggering the shot.

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

Assigned 33 times


COMMENTS (61)
  • NW2000Bball
    2/03/2015 - 09:05 a.m.

    It is easier to buy a selfie stick at a landmark because people will want a better picture of their vacation. I think this is smart because people are going to see a selfie stick and think about how their picture is going to be better with it.

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    2/03/2015 - 09:30 a.m.

    I have heard of selfie sticks, but I never really considered people using them in public. I guess it is pretty awesome though because now taking selfies won't be such a hassle, and people won't miss out on taking pictures with amazing things.

  • nicholas.jones07
    2/03/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    I believe that the selfie stick is a great invention for shy people. While it is a nice way to meet new people shy people don't want to have to walk up to some stranger and ask them to take a picture of them. I believe that this will be a great invention, and if someone's take a selfie during a soccer game then you can just as them calmly to put it down.

  • johanna.galloway34
    2/03/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    I believe that selfie sticks are useful for vacations, family gatherings and special moments. You don't need to ask a passer-by to take the picture. Specialties of having a selfie stick is that it has better color in the photo, wide angled pictures, and not bothering any people.That's what I think about selfie sticks.

  • jordant-Koc
    2/03/2015 - 01:32 p.m.

    This is most definitely one of the best inventions i've ever seen. Although people look absolutely ridiculous holding it up, It's great for vacations and memories, to get that perfect pic with everyone in it and one that everyone looks good in.

  • dianaz-Che
    2/03/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    Selfie-sticks aren't necessary, but they could be useful if you wanted one. I wouldn't use it, i feel like it looks weird. Other people that like the take group pictures might though, it'll be easier for them.

  • fernandoc-Che
    2/03/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    I don't think a selfie stick really gets you a better picture, it just shows more. I think you look ridiculous trying to take a picture with one of those sticks.

  • marcusr-Che
    2/03/2015 - 01:55 p.m.

    I think this is a good way to take a selfie and to make money especially on the more sophisticated versions like with controlled triggers and Bluetooth's and it provides a nice grip to your phone so your phone wont drop and crack when taking a selfie while using this new stick this selfie stick is not out yet so I haven't heard any good things about it.

  • atayal-Orv
    2/03/2015 - 04:32 p.m.

    i will be scared to get a self stick because what if the self stick is not sturdy enough i don't want to brake my new i phone.

  • 8carsont
    2/03/2015 - 05:05 p.m.

    I think this is funny and sad at the same time. Funny because I cant believe that someone will actually go this far to be able to put more people in a selfie. Sad because this world is coming to being all about technology and electronics.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT