Starting Tuesday, Disney tourists will be forced to rely only on their arms for taking photos. The selfie stick has been banned from the land of Mickey Mouse.
Tragic, we know.
“We strive to provide a great experience for the entire family, and unfortunately selfie-sticks have become a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast,” a Disney spokeswoman said Friday.
She’s not kidding. Earlier this week, a roller coaster passenger at Disney California Adventure park pulled out a selfie stick mid-ride, shutting down the coaster for an hour, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Disney previously tried banning the sticks only from rides in which they would be dangerous, but tourists kept bringing them out anyway. (Did they think you can pull out a selfie stick discreetly?)
This week’s incident seemed to be the last straw. As of June 30, selfie sticks will be confiscated and stowed at security at all Disney theme parks.
The news is another marker on the road to the selfie stick’s demise. The cheap metal rods have been banned from peak selfie destinations across the world, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Lollapallooza, from the Kentucky Derby to the Wimbledon tennis championships. You can still selfie-stick at the Lincoln Memorial, but there will be no sticks near paintings of Lincoln in the National Portrait Gallery.
1. Because you could damage the art.
2. Because you can damage another human.
3. Because you look stupid.
Or do you?
The longer selfie sticks are around, the more they are banned — but also, the more they seem … normal.
It’s certainly no longer surprising to see someone brandishing one of these wands of self-importance. Maybe they still inspire eye-rolls. But either there are enough people who don’t care if they look silly or there are enough people who realize that selfie sticks are rather convenient. More than 100,000 selfie sticks sold last December alone, leading Bloomberg to dub it “the gift of the year in 2014.”
You don’t have to ask a stranger to hold your expensive phone, you don’t have to set a timer and run for it, and your arm doesn’t have to take up half the photo. Hold it at the right angle, and the selfie stick makes selfies look like a not-a-selfie. Maybe you saw your neighbors’ selfies from their beach trip. Maybe your 14-year-old daughter said, “Come on, just try it.” Next thing you know, you’re a stick-aholic.
But where to take it to?
If you wanted the photo to be of just your face, you would revert back to your old-fashioned arm. The point of the stick is to be able to capture yourself and your surroundings. What will happen if all the popular destinations for selfie sticks say you can’t bring them along?
Tragic, we know.