Remember the days of wanting a family photo while on vacation? You simply opened your mouth and asked. Almost always, when you asked someone to take your photo, they then asked you to do the same. Those days are nearly gone.
Since selfie sticks were on the list of Time magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2014, we have seen more and more people utilizing the tool to snap photos. For those who have not “bumped” into one, a selfie stick is a monopod or rod attached to a smartphone or traditional camera that holds the phone further than arm’s length to take a picture of oneself or a group. But, selfie sticks can not only obstruct views, they can sometimes be dangerous. This has led to a growing movement to ban them from certain public places, such as museums, art galleries, sports stadiums, music festivals, concerts and tourist attractions.
People have been witness to those using selfie sticks slamming into others because they are too busy looking at their cameras to pay attention in front of them. Art museums have risked people hitting priceless pieces of art. A snowboarder who thought it would be fun to film himself riding down a mountain was unaware how close he was to a slope’s chairlift until it hit him in the head.
In May, Disney cracked down on selfie sticks on rides, posting signs at various attractions in several of its parks to remind guests the devices weren’t allowed. That didn’t stop a guest from pulling out a selfie stick midway through Disney’s California Adventure Park’s Screaming’ roller coaster. Just imagine a selfie stick flying off the ride at 62 miles per hour. While Disney officials say the incident had no bearing on a new selfie-stick policy, it has now banned selfie sticks inside its theme parks, citing safety concerns.
The ban goes into effect at Walt Disney World’s four theme parks, its water parks, DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney, as well as the Disneyland Resort theme parks on June 30th. Visitors to Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland will be subject to the ban starting the following day—July 1st. Guests bringing selfie sticks to the gates at the parks’ entrances will be asked to check the devices there or take them back to their car or resort.
Whether you are a selfie addict or have never used one, what do you think? Should selfie sticks be banned? And if so – where? And why?
Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.