Fright at the museum: Selfie sticks banned at the Smithsonian

Technically Incorrect: Citing safety concerns, the Smithsonian goes draconian on the world's latest essential gadget.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

No, madam. You may not use one of those in our Civil War exhibit, lest there be another civil war. Missy Boo/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I have had several friends come down with the disease.

Their cheeks turn a strange rose color. Their eyes bulge wider than those on a Margaret Keane painting. Do they have some strange scurvy? Yes, they've just bought themselves a selfie stick.

I am curiously delighted, therefore, that history has taken a stand against this societal scourge. The Smithsonian has decided to ban the selfie stick from its buildings as of Tuesday.

In an announcement, the museum cited security concerns. It said: "For the safety of our visitors and collections, the Smithsonian prohibits the use of tripods or monopods in our museums and gardens. Effective today, March 3, monopod selfie sticks are included in this policy."

The announcement continued: "This museum is a place of intelligence, taste and discernment. Visitors should realize that several historical figures would not merely turn over in their graves, but also attempt to leave them to commit physical assault on hearing that we allowed these selfie-sticks in our midst."

I'm sorry, my subconscious made that last quote up. In fact, the museum explained: "This is a preventive measure to protect visitors and objects, especially during crowded conditions. We encourage museum visitors to take selfies and share their experiences -- and leave the selfie sticks in their bags."

The decision seems entirely sanguine. Symbolically, selfie sticks have come to represent the primacy of the self over all other people, animals, things and eyeballs.

The Smithsonian has seen this latest degradation of civilization and said: "Not in my house."

(Via Business Insider)