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President Obama roams Alaska with, oh, a selfie stick

Technically Incorrect: Posting to Twitter and Instagram, the president wants to highlight climate change. But a selfie stick? Is that wise?

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


The president is a convert to the selfie stick. It's over.

The White House. Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When our alien overlords amuse themselves by watching over our past social predilections, I wonder what they'll think of the selfie stick.

After all, most aliens are portrayed as not terribly pretty types. Not for them, surely, a long piece of metal with a camera at the end specifically designed to make it easier to take pictures of oneself.

We, though, have somehow embraced selfie sticks like we did Josh Duggar for a while. And Honey Boo-Boo. And flared jeans. (Wait, are they coming back?)

It's gone all the way to the top. President Barack Obama is currently trekking around Alaska hoping for a sight of Russia. No, wait, hoping that the Earth won't crumble too quickly beneath our very feet.

The president has been given the password to the White House Instagram account, where he's been posting images from his plane high above Alaska.

However, he's also taken to the White House Twitter account. There he's posted a video in which he describes how the glaciers are receding and his own keenness to preserve what beauty we have. Global warming, he said, is occurring twice as fast in Alaska as in the bottom 48 states.

This is a serious issue. Humanity has a tendency to ignore very dangerous things until it's too late.

Some might feel the same way about the selfie stick. I confess that every time I see one, I feel that our species is like the occasional driver who slavishly follows his GPS, even though it's asking him to drive straight into the Grand Canyon.

Selfie sticks have been banned from many institutions of culture, such as the Smithsonian. Some feel the selfie stick has become a self-regarding intrusion into street life. I once had to take avoiding action when four people just sauntered down a busy street, all trying to film themselves walking down a busy street. Even Samsung has referred to selfie stick users as

Of course, it's far more important that the president is carrying a message about climate change and our wanton ways.

However, his carrying of a selfie stick may serve as an act of permission and endorsement that will make these poles of selfhood even more de rigueur.

It's like when a president takes on an illicit lover. Suddenly everyone thinks they should have one. Ask anyone in France and Italy.