Last year, my brother shared a picture on Facebook that he’d taken whilst shopping in Manchester. Two young girls, complete with duck pouts, taking a selfie with their phone attached to what looked like a piece of bamboo. Giving them the ” ultimate” distance shot I suppose! Having posted a humorous comment or two and shared it with my friends, I’d thought nothing about it since.
This morning, I received a press release about a new product – The Selfy Stick. After a few minutes rolling about laughing, I started to think about it. When did we become a nation of vain, self-obsessed women that merits the release of a product like this? Selfies aren’t new. It’s agreed that the earliest selfie was taken in 1839, by Robert Cornelius. He sat in front of his newly-made camera, stuck a pose and the rest is history. Do you know what you started Robert? Do you?
With the infamous Nelson Mandela Memorial Service selfie involving David Cameron and Barack Obama and of course the 2014 Ellen DeGeneres Oscar ceremony selfie, it’s fair to say that everyone, from all walks of life knows how to take a decent selfie. I’ll be honest, I ‘selfie’ too. I’m not one for pouting or posing but I do tend to take them with my kids. Why? I think it’s because it’s easier. Most of us use our smartphones to take photos. You’re out and about, you don’t have to mess around with a camera. You don’t have to ask anyone to take a photo. As long as everyone’s looking in roughly the right direction, you’re sorted.
But, how could your selfie experience be improved? With the Selfy Stick of course. The extendible rod, complete with a cradle to hold your phone uses Bluetooth technology to enable you to take selfies from all different perspectives. Do we really need this? Have we not got better things to spend £14.99 on? My first thought is the stick itself. I’ve got enough crap in my handbag without a stick as well. On a night out, who is the stick carrier? Are we going to need a designated stick carrier as well as a designated driver? Can I be trusted wielding a stick in a crowded bar? After a vino or two, I can barely be trusted to remember my own name let alone attach my phone to a stick and capture some hot piccies.
Then, it’s the whole vanity issue. Why do we insist on taking selfies and sharing them with our friends and family. My friends know what I really look like. They know I look ok with make-up on and rough without. Just who are we taking these selfies for? I have my own theory on this. We take selfies for the people we’re not really friends with; except on Social Media. Those ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, frenemies, former colleagues; people you’ve not seen in YEARS to say “look at me!” “I look hot and I’m in a bar!” For people, that’s what you’re saying when you share a selfie.
If you’re down with the duck pout and have perfected your own selfie pose then by all means, get yourself a Selfy Stick. It’ll be a talking point at least. If you’re starting to think, ‘actually, this is all a bit silly’ then make your social media accounts a selfie-free zone. If you post a picture of yourself, make it an interesting one. I’d love to see a photo of you enjoying your holiday, on top of a mountain, swimming with dolphins, whatever. Just no more, “here I am, posing in the nightclub toilets with my mates” selfies please!
What do you think? Are you going to buy a Selfy stick? Am I being a bit of a bore?