Selfies, the Selfie Stick and Travel!
The photo depicts an all too common occurrence: a group of people taking selfies at a popular tourist area.
Could it be that our obsession with selfies to document every aspect of a trip is spoiling our travel experience? Often all that seems to matter is positioning ourselves correctly, icon or landmark close by to prove we are there, smiling (often forced), clicking, posting and moving on… Are our travel experiences just catering for success on social media such as Facebook and Instagram? Are we now just travelling to show where we are and not actually experiencing where we are? Social media pressures us to display our lives in real time. We take the photo, post it and monitor reaction on social media outlets. We are so busy posting the photos and monitoring the response that we don’t have time to actually immerse ourselves in the moment. Then back home we don’t remember any details because we were too busy interacting with our phones!
Before the selfie became so popular, the photo would have been very different, people leaning on the railing, gazing at the gardens, chatting amiably and taking a picture of the attraction to bring back memories when they returned home.
Many places have banned the selfie stick including Rome’s Colosseum, New York’s Guggenheim, Sydney Opera House, theme parks, and now Angkor Wat has introduced restrictions.
The Selfie Stick can be helpful when used correctly. It allows you to take photos of larger groups. You don’t have to ask around for someone to take a photo. There is no need for a tripod (at least not for snap shots) and you can get some amazing angles and perspectives.
Traditional photography gives you the chance to engage with other people, for example asking someone to take your photo.
Are you for or against taking selfies on holiday? Are you a selfie enthusiast? Do you think selfie takers are missing out?