The dangerous art of the ultimate selfie

Justine with a camel

Excerpt from this article:

If 2014 was the year of the selfie, then 2015 took the art of self-photography to a new and dangerous level. People are, quite literally, dying to take a picture of themselves…

“We’ve actually seen people using selfie sticks to try and get as close to the bears as possible, sometimes within 10 feet [3 metres],” said recreation manager Brandon Ransom in a blog.

…So why are some people willing to risk their life to take the ultimate selfie? It may come down to pure bravado, thinks Lee Thompson – whose snap of himself on top of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro went viral in June 2014.

“People see pictures like mine and see how they spread across the world and see a way to make themselves famous for 15 minutes,” he told the BBC.

…For many, a dangerous selfie is worth it for the number of likes and comments it will generate.

“Likes are a quantifiable way of measuring popularity and these days it isn’t enough to just post a picture of yourself, because everyone is doing that. The more extreme it is, the more likely you are to stand out and get lots of likes and comments.”

Opinion: don’t cast an evil spell with your selfie stick

People taking a selfie in front of the Colosseum, Rome.

Excerpt from this article:

There is a video on YouTube of a fight between a pair of tourists on a sightseeing cruise in Sydney Harbour. The two men brawl on deck after encroaching on each other’s selfies.

The video is a fake, apparently, but like most good parodies it feels uncomfortably close to the truth, and I’d bet that a similar scene has played out somewhere in the real world.

… Everyone wants to record their experiences on holiday. Nothing wrong with that. But taken to an extreme, this behaviour reduces the travel experience to a box-ticking exercise – and the compulsive quest for a self-mythologising shot in service of social media has spread the disease.

… If warning signs aren’t enough, what else can be done to curb the excesses of this moronic minority of travellers? The Chinese have a radical solution: their National Tourism Administration is compiling a blacklist of people who damage cultural relics and ignore social customs, among other misdemeanours. It sounds more than a trifle sinister – an Orwellian agency monitoring your downtime – but perhaps they don’t have any faith in a hearts-and-minds approach.

RIP the Selfie: when Prince Harry calls time on a craze, you know it’s well and truly dead

Excerpt from this article, which is subtitled, “The selfie was the great silliness of our time, the trainspotting of the techno age. So take them if you dare – the world is laughing at you”:

Prince Harry called time on the selfie craze this week. When a teenager asked him to pose for one with her in Australia he replied: “No, I hate selfies … I know you’re young, but selfies are bad. Just take a normal photograph.”

Good for Harry – it’s time more people spoke out against this great silliness of our time. The royal repudiation of the selfie followed hot on the heels of a powerful attack on the selfie age by the great historian Simon Schama. Launching what sounds like a fascinating project about the British portrait, Schama ridiculed the idea that the “quick dumbness” of selfies has anything in common with the true art of portraiture. “What we love about selfies and phones is that it’s of the moment,” he said, “but the true object of art is endurance.”

I agree. It is depressing that we’ve turned self-portraiture, the most intense, worrying and neurotic of arts, into a big collective joke. Anyone who can look at their face without anxiety is not looking at their face. The self portrait for Van Gogh and Picasso was a thing of fear and dread: we’ve taken that dread and airbrushed it out of existence. Selfies deny and erase a fundamental human self-consciousness. We are in danger of losing our sense of awkwardness, embarrassment, of being an individual. The selfie is actually an attack on the moral self.

This Adorable Australian Marsupial Has Totally Nailed The Selfie Game

Excerpt from this article:

There’s a new selfie trend sweeping the Internet, and it involves the happiest little marsupial to grace the planet. Tourists are flocking to Australia’s Rottnest Island to hang with its native quokkas – furry, smiling bundles of cute that really know how to mug for the camera.

And more from this article:

The most uplifting part of this story, though, is the redemption of the much-maligned selfie stick. After making the news for being banned in a number of museums the whole world over, the selfie stick is finally having its day in the sun. See, actually touching or handling a quokka in any way is illegal, and you’ll be fined if you get caught. And, well, selfies posted to the Internet sort of make it easy to get caught. But, getting a selfie with a quokka is, obviously, a life-changing experience. The only law-compliant solution? The selfie stick. Long live the selfie stick.

Museum Rules: Talk Softly, and Carry No Selfie Stick

Excerpt from this article:

Art museums have watched this development nervously, fearing damage to their collections or to visitors, as users swing their sticks with abandon. Now they are taking action. One by one, museums across the United States have been imposing bans on using selfie sticks for photographs inside galleries (adding them to existing rules on umbrellas, backpacks, tripods and monopods), yet another example of how controlling overcrowding has become part of the museum mission.

…“From now on, you will be asked quietly to put it away,” said Sree Sreenivasan, the chief digital officer at the Met. “It’s one thing to take a picture at arm’s length, but when it is three times arm’s length, you are invading someone else’s personal space.”

Nixie is a wearable, autonomous drone that takes selfies

selfie Nixie is a wearable, autonomous drone that takes selfies

Following up on yesterday’s Selfie Stick post, here’s an excerpt from this article:

A selfie drone on your wrist sounds too good to be true, but Nixie has pulled it off. It’s a tiny bracelet you wear and can take off at any point, throw into the air and it takes a selfie automatically for you…

You can’t actually buy one yet; the company is working on making the technology better before it puts them on sale.

Holiday Gift of the Year? Selfie Sticks

A selfie stick sold on Amazon.

Excerpt from this article:

On Dec. 25, the hashtag #selfiestick dominated Twitter, as gift-receivers posted pictures of themselves with the gadgets, which typically sell for $10 to $30.The holiday craze adds to evidence that selfies — photos taken of oneself and shared on social-media sites like Facebook’s Instagram — have gone mainstream, even with a lingering stigma that the practice is best left to reality TV stars like Kim Kardashian. In April, President Barack Obama endorsed selfies by snapping one of himself and Vice President Joe Biden in the back of a limo while traveling in Pennsylvania.