Statistically, there’s a pretty good chance you got a selfie stick for Christmas.
The controversial stick ended up under a lot of Christmas trees. It was the hottest gift of the year, and was even named by Time as one of the Best Inventions of 2014.
But now that you’ve got your stick, what are you actually going to do with it?
When you should use your selfie stick
Contrary to popular belief, owning a selfie stick doesn’t automatically make you a self-absorbed, ego-driven narcissist — well, no more than anyone taking a standard, stick-less selfie, anyway. There are plenty of situations where the selfie is just the most practical option. For instance…
You want to fit multiple people in a group selfie
Ironically, the most useful application of the selfie stick isn’t actually taking pictures of yourself — it’s taking pictures of yourself with other people. If you just want to take a pic of yourself, holding out your arm and doing it the old-fashioned way is usually fine; it’s when you also want to get other people (or pets!) in the shot that the stick becomes a godsend. Unless you’re Reed Richards, there’s only so far the human arm can stretch, so grab your selfie stick and tell your mates to strike a pose.
You want to capture more of the scenery
Of course, there are some circumstances when the selfie stick comes in handy while you’re taking a solo pic. One of those situations is the tourist’s eternal dilemma — how can you take a photo of yourself and capture the scenery that you actually came to see? The selfie stick is the obvious answer for getting more background scenery in a pic with you.
You’re sick of seeing your arm in photos
One of the biggest drawbacks of the traditional, stickless selfie is that you can almost always see your arm in the photo. This problem won’t be solved straight away — at first, you’ll just be replacing your arm with your selfie stick, which is even more distracting and unsightly — but with plenty of practice, you’ll find that you can aim the selfie stick at just the right angle to take photos and videos without seeing the stick in the frame. Go on, give it a go.
You want to get creative
Ultimately, using a selfie stick just gives you more license to be creative. You can use it to take pictures of yourself and your environment from creative angles and points of view that you never would have been able to reach without it, and you can experiment with the stick’s setting and position to create all sorts of interesting effects.
You just don’t like talking to strangers
Okay, sure, the reality is that most pictures taken with a selfie stick could be just as easily achieved by asking someone nearby to take a photo of you. But here’s the problem with strangers — they’re, well, strangers. They might never have used your type of phone or camera before, and they’ve got absolutely no investment in taking a good shot, so they’re probably just going to snap a dark, off-centre pic of half the people in your group and call it a day. (Absolute worst case scenario, they might even try to take your camera!)
Even if you do happen to stumble across a regular Annie Leibovitz, some people are more outgoing than others — not everyone finds it easy to ask a stranger a favour. If you’ve got your trusty selfie stick with you, you don’t have to.
When you shouldn’t use your selfie stick
Now that we’ve removed the stigma around using a selfie stick, let’s keep in mind that it’s not always a good idea. Sometimes, it’s a party foul. For instance, you shouldn’t use your selfie stick to…
Injure your friends
Get yourself arrested
Take pictures of your crotch
Ride a rollercoaster
Go to the bathroom
Finally, if you weren’t lucky enough to end up with a selfie stick under your tree, don’t worry — you can always improvise.
And, if in doubt, you could always follow this advice…
Tips for using your selfie stick: 1. Don't
— Casey Michelle (@ksweets1116) December 16, 2014
Did you get a selfie stick for Christmas? Do you love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments below!
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