There is a new outrage in football and clubs are quickly starting to take action in order to stop it before it completely ruins the game forever. No, it’s not something actually important like racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia — it’s something worse than all of those things combined, wrapped in a suit and named Sepp Blatter. It’s called a “selfie stick” and it is somehow a thing that people care about.
Selfie sticks are simple devices used by people whose desire to photograph themselves at a greater distance than their arms will allow supersedes their ability to feel shame. Over the last year, they have been used at football grounds in increasing numbers, prompting expressions of disdain from the people who matter most to all of us: strangers on the internet.
And now, Tottenham and Arsenal have responded to calls for the device to be banned by doing just that at both White Hart Lane and the Emirates. Though the complaints about the selfie stick have only been based in a misguided moral outrage so far, the clubs banned them on the more legitimate and understandable grounds of public safety concerns, since the sticks could potentially be used as weapons that would cause the attacker more humiliation for using it in such a way than it would actual pain to the victim (much like an oversized dildo).
But the question remains, are selfie sticks really as bad as they’ve been made out to be? Sure, they look stupid when used in public, but other people’s public embarrassment is roughly 98% of the world’s entertainment today. Then there’s the fact that if people use selfie sticks, they’re less likely to bother strangers around them to take pictures for them, which takes longer and wastes even more people’s time.
Of course, banning selfie sticks won’t diminish people’s unquenchable desire to constantly photograph themselves. It will only force them to create new and perhaps even more horrifying and disruptive instruments to aid them in that endeavor. By killing the selfie stick, we will only pave the way for the selfie kite or the selfie sombrero or even the selfie carrier pigeon. So would you rather be seated next to someone who uses a stick to take a quick pic or be covered head to toe in the poop of a bird trained to fly a camera at a flattering distance? The choice is yours.