Wildly popular for reasons I don’t fully understand, selfie sticks allow people to extend the reach of their cameras or smart phones, getting more people into the picture and including a larger background. Last month, I talked about the reasons why, as a former cast member and frequent theme park guest, I think selfie sticks should be banned. Regardless of what I think, though, it is highly unlikely that these photo-taking add-ons will be forbidden anytime soon. Those who love them are passionate and outspoken, and selfie sticks do serve a useful function in setting up some highly specific types of shots. If you want to use a selfie stick at the parks, here are a few tips for doing so without making everyone around you mad.
1. Watch your reach
The entire point of a selfie stick is to effectively extend the length of your arm. Basic physics tells us that a longer arm can touch things much further away than a shorter arm. Just like those who forget they’re wearing a giant backpack when they try to crowd onto an already full bus, many selfie stick users don’t think about who might get hit when they extend the stick. Look around and make sure no one is in the way, and then slowly and carefully extend your selfie stick. While it is extended, keep one eye on your photo and the other eye out for people who might accidentally get in the way of the stick.
2. Keep moving
Don’t stop to mess with the selfie stick when there are people behind you who reasonably expect you to keep going. This means queues, rope drop, post-parade crowds, and any other time when you are in the middle of a sea of people all going in the same direction at more or less the same pace. Stopping to take a selfie with or without the stick is rude in these situations, but adding the extra time and reach involved with the stick just enhances the problem.
Whatever you do, don’t hold up boarding on any type of ride vehicle or transportation. Your “quick selfie” could cause the queue to back up, the hourly guest counts to be off, or even the entire ride to reset if dispatch is late. If you must take a ride selfie, try taking it at the end, after the ride is over and you are waiting to return to the station.