Get ready for the next level of attention whoring; the selfie stick.
Yup, it’s what you think it is. A giant stick so you can take selfies without talking to a stranger. ROK founder RooshV explains:
You may be wondering “Why don’t they just ask someone to take a picture of them?” Two reasons why:
1. That would require communication with a stranger. The situation could get creepy/awkward/weird/uncomfortable.
2. The stranger would only take one picture. A selfie stick allows you to take an infinite amount so you can pick the best photo for your facebook/tinder that actually looks very little like you on a normal day.
American social skills have devolved so much asking a stranger to take your picture is awkward.
The selfie stick reveals how social values have changed. Taking pictures used to be a social occasion. You took pictures because you wanted to commemorate a great time you had with friends—a wedding, a family reunion, a great party, a stunning vacation, etc. Now pictures are something you use to get friends by projecting an interesting life through social media.
This is how social media isolates us. While a timeline full of perfectly framed selfies might look better than the candid photo your buddy snaps, it isn’t the same social experience. Asking your friends to take a picture means having a shared experience, whereas taking a selfie requires self-conscious focus. Instead of enjoying the moment, you’re thinking “will this look good on Instagram?”
The selfie stick is a new level in shameless attention whoring, and it’s already creating backlash against it. Forbes reports:
The selfie-stick-takers on the other hand cannot be surreptitious. Their stick is a loud (and proud) declaration of self-portraiture. No covert selfies for them. Putting a smartphone on the end of a stick says, “I’m not ashamed that I want this photo of myself.” Those taking photos of the person holding the stick are saying, “Well, you should be.”
Public attention whoring should be shamed, or even better, ignored. If you see someone using a selfie stick in public ask them, “Don’t you have any friends? Why don’t you ask someone to take your picture?” Don’t like, repost, or share others attempts at attention whoring. If someone isn’t adding value beyond “hey, look at me” they don’t deserve an audience.
The selfie stick could be a fad, but it could also become so common no one comments when someone pulls one out. The selfie stick is already popular all over Asia, where social degeneration is a couple years ahead of America. Vendors in the United States report selling out of selfie sticks, and the GoPro-Edition telescopic monopod is currently the 49th most popular item in the Amazon camera store.
The selfie stick represents the beginning of peak narcissism, because is shows that Americans are willing to look absurd in real life and ruin actual experiences to look better in the digital world. The only way Americans could look more absurd is if they put motion capture dots on their face, so they could digitally replace themselves in videos with a more attractive digital stunt double.
Rather than actually having friends who will take a good photo, the users of the selfie stick have surrendered reality to a false image where it looks like they have friends who will take a good photo. Advertising for the selfie stick reveals how Americans have become divorced from their real needs. Since when is attention whoring an evolutionary goal?
Before the ubiquity of cell phones, a technically skilled member of most social groups would naturally take on the role of photographer. He or she would snap pictures, direct friends, and document events so everyone else could just enjoy themselves and be present in the moment.
If you’re ambitious, learn photography. Camera game has been a popular topic on the RVF forum. Asking a girl to take her picture can be a great opener. You don’t even have to be a pro—just tell her you’re studying photography, or starting a photoblog, and thought she’d make a good subject. Many attractive women have multiple social media accounts and maybe even a model mayhem profile she’d love good photos for. Direct her a bit, and exchange info so you can send her the pics or meetup later.
Instead of buying into the culture of attention whoring, remember that photography can be a social experience rather than an isolating one. If you really want a photo of yourself, try talking to another human being and asking them to help you. Or even better, do something interesting enough that someone other than you would want to photograph it.