Selfie sticks are the latest “must have” for selfie addicts, but major museums are banning them and they say they have good reasons to do so.
The sticks, sometimes referred to as “the wand of narcissism,” according to the New York Times, make it easier to take long range selfies, such as those tourists love to take of themselves in front of landmarks.
But major museums, fearing visitors using selfie sticks could cause damage to their collections or disturb other patrons, are now taking action to ban the devices. So if you feel you must post a wide-angle picture of you standing in front of an exhibit next time you visit a museum, you had better plan on getting someone else to take it.
Time reports that, although official signs prohibiting the use of selfie sticks have not been posted at some major museums, visitors are nevertheless quietly being discouraged from using them. Museums that have banned the devices so far include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and most recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Art museums are not completely banning selfies, though. In fact, they encourage them as a way to help visitors bond to art and create free advertising for the museums. But the selfie sticks have to go.
“From now on, you will be asked quietly to put it away,” said a Met spokesperson. “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.”
Other’s personal space isn’t the only issue museums have with selfie sticks, though. They are concerned with visitors damaging the artwork.
“We do not want to have to put all the art under glass,” said Deborah Ziska, the chief of public information at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
Museums are also concerned for the safety of the selfie-takers themselves, noting that focusing on capturing the perfect shot can lead them into dangerous situations.
“If people are not paying attention in the Temple of Dendur, they can end up in the water with the crocodile sculpture,” the Met spokesperson said. “We have so many balconies you could fall from, and stairs you can trip on.”
Fortunately for world travelers, the trend of banning the selfie sticks hasn’t made it to Europe yet. They are still permitted at the Louvre in Paris and the Tate Modern and National Gallery in London — for now at least.
The Inquisitr recently reported that selfie sticks were both loved and hated by consumers. How do you feel about them?
[Photo via Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]