Selfie sticks banned in art gallery. Should ban be extended to... life?

Selfie sticks. The harmless but shameful ‘wands of narcissism’ have now been branded DANGEROUS.

Some of Australia’s major exhibition centres, including the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, are following a world-wide trend of banning selfie sticks in art museums. Selfies (without the flash) are still allowed, but patrons must remain stick-less.

Why? Because the sticks pose a threat. Not just to pride. To art.

A couple take a selfie inside an art gallery. Image: Twitter

“We just can’t risk damage to the artworks,” the National Gallery explained to the Canberra Times.

“Like our institutional counterparts, we do not allow selfie sticks due to the risk of damage to artworks and other patrons.”

We’re not sure of the major concern – is it because a selfie-taker might accidentally poke a hole in a painting? Or perhaps they’ll be so busy framing their face in their phone, they might knock over an ancient statue? – but we’re all for it.

The Metropolitian Museum of Art in New York agrees – selfies can be taken with arms only. If your arm isn’t long enough, bad luck. However, the Louvre in Paris and the Tate Gallery in London still consider the sticks to be a-ok.

 Selfie sticks: Why you should embrace them.

Here’s the argument on selfie sticks.

AGAINST: They are pretty lame. They are encouraging us to live life through the lens of a smart phone, and not through our senses. They are contributing to the false reality of social media, rather than cultivating real life. They are encouraging more anti-social behaviour, in which a person is so self-sufficient that they won’t even ask a stranger to take a photo for them.

FOR: Selfie sticks are all about the group love. They can snap a special moment between a group of friends that normal arm-length cannot encapsulate. They help us remember all the places we’ve been, and are a photographer’s dream.

If they’re good enough for Obama… (from his recent BuzzFeed video). Image: YouTube

You pick which side of the selfie stick you’d like to be on. We are torn.

But in an art gallery? Put the camera down and look at the damn paintings with your eyes and your heart and your memory. Instagram will survive without you for one day.

Where else should selfie sticks be banned?