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Fall 2016

Selfie Stick Savvy

If you travel to any popular tourist location, you’ll likely notice one similarity: selfie sticks. It is likely that when you’re around people under the age of thirty, selfie sticks are everywhere. Selfie sticks can be useful when you’re on your own or with a group and want to capture a unique experience without asking someone else to take your picture. You can even capture epic moments while snowboarding or cliff diving using a selfie stick. Generally, selfie sticks allow you to capture more authentic photos and videos because they don’t require posing. But many travelers agree that there are rules of etiquette that should be followed so that everyone (selfie stick user or not) can have an enjoyable travel experience.

Be Mindful of Others
Don’t use selfie sticks in crowded or narrow places. If you’re somewhere that’s packed with people, there is obviously something noteworthy going on, and everyone wants to be a part of the experience without selfie sticks blocking the view. It is easy to hit others in the head or to run into someone or something while walking and taking a picture in a crowded area. Avoid ruining others’ travel experiences by blocking the view or running into them while you use your selfie stick.

Be Careful
Don’t use the selfie stick in unsafe situations (e.g., while driving, hiking, or skiing). Selfie sticks have been banned in Disneyland because of safety concerns. In 2015, eight people in the world died from shark attacks, but twelve people died while using a selfie stick. Focus more on what you’re doing and live in the moment instead of making sure you get the best selfie.

Be Respectful
Don’t use selfie sticks in hallowed religious or cultural sites. They can be distracting and inappropriate in many travel situations. Respect other people and their religion, culture, and personal space by resisting the urge to whip out your selfie stick in every venue you visit. Use common sense and be considerate when visiting sacred and historical places so that you don’t disrespect the sanctity of the site.

—Allyson Jones
Featured photo by Dallas Clark.