I previously wrote on the 6 advantages of selfie sticks, and while selfie sticks have been a boon to the solo traveler and others, there are also disadvantages associated with selfie sticks. To be fair, here are 6 disadvantages of selfie sticks.
1. Hard to Meet People
You can argue whether this is an advantage or disadvantage, but when you use a selfie stick, you lose the opportunity to ask a stranger to snap a photo of you. This means you lose the possibility of maybe striking up a conversation and maybe even making a new friend/traveling companion in the process. Of course, many people hate asking others to snap a photo (myself included) unless it is absolutely necessary, so unless you're the type of person who relishes the possibility of meeting someone in this fashion, then this might not be such a disadvantage after all.
2. Looks Strange
This is probably not as big an issue not as it used to be. When selfie sticks first came out, they were relatively uncommon, and most people had not seen them before. As a result, when someone used one, it often attracted curious glances due to its relatively strange appearance. Even though selfie sticks are ubiquitous today, they still look strange and comical to many people. There are times I still get stared at when I take out my selfie stick in front of something (the most recent episode was in Montreal, Canada in front of Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal).
3. Easy to Lose
Most selfie sticks can easily retract into something smaller. This is nice for packing purposes since they take up relatively little space, but that also means it is easier to lose or forget somewhere. There have been several times in the past when I was holding my selfie stick, I put it down, and I started to walk off only to remember that I left it behind. Thankfully, I never permanently lost it, but it is important to remember that despite its relatively small size it is still another accessory you need to keep track of.
4. Physical Danger
When I say "physical danger," I don't mean you are literally in danger of being attacked because you have a selfie stick although that could potentially happen depending on where you go. Instead, selfie sticks can cause a physical danger to not only other people by hitting them with an extended one that is carelessly swung around but also to attractions.
Several tourist attractions have banned the use of selfie sticks due to the fact that when people use them, they have knocked over items in museums. This often happens when a person takes a selfie and suddenly swings around without thinking. Before the person knows it, they have knocked down a sculpture or artifact from a pedestal and possibly damaged it beyond repair.
By far the biggest disadvantage of a selfie stick is how touristy it looks. No one likes to stand out as a tourist, but when you use a selfie stick, it screams "tourist" to anyone and everyone. This can quite possibly cause serious problems since that will make you a target for scammers or someone who is up to no good. In addition, even though selfie sticks have been mainstream and widespread throughout the world for awhile now, it still maintains this cheap touristy type of stigma that I doubt will ever go away.
6. Increases Narcissism
The very purpose of a selfie stick is to help the photographer take a photo of themselves or a group of people in an easy fashion. This of course means some people become obsessed with how they are depicted since it will most likely go on social media, so it becomes extremely important to make sure everything is perfect. This also means that the selfie stick helps increase narcissism since it is extremely easy to have hundreds or tens of hundreds of pictures of yourself.
There you have it. 6 disadvantages of a selfie stick. Even though selfie sticks have a diverse group of supporters and detractors, I personally think the selfie stick is an absolute essential for any traveler, and I still think my selfie stick was a great investment.
What do you think? Are there are any other disadvantages of a selfie stick?