the problem with selfie sticks


Dick: What does a selfie stick do?

Maddox: A selfie stick is just an extender. You know what, Dick? Here’s what a selfie stick is: it’s a megaphone for narcissism.

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: It’s a sidekick to self-absorption. That’s what a selfie stick is.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: It’s just…it’s like your briefcase full of tools for narcissism. You might as well carry around makeup, a lighting kit; you might as well carry around some reflectors.

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: A crew following you around to document your life because it’s so fucking important to get a really good shot of you.

Dick: Yeah. (amused)

Maddox: You need that selfie stick extender so you can get more of you in the picture, don’t you, dipshit? You could…and you know what it is, Dick? Selfie sticks wall us off from communication with other people.

Dick: ’Cause you don’t have to ask somebody else to take a picture?

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: You don’t have to be social! It protects your delicate sensibilities from having to go up to somebody and say, “Hey man, you mind takin’ a photo of me?”

Dick: Yeah. Yeah, I agree with you there.

Maddox: You might MEET somebody, dickheads. You might talk to another fucking human being, and who knows, maybe meet your partner in life. Maybe network with somebody, get to know a stranger, find out what they’re doing! (irritated)

Dick: Oh, I got a good Dick tip for ya.

Maddox: Okay. (chuckling)

Dick: I was…I met…I started talking to these girls a couple weeks ago walking down Hollywood. It was nighttime, so I was out drinking with my life coach.

Maddox: H’okay, of course.

Dick: And she wanted me to take a picture of her and her friend. They were all dressed up to go to the club.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Whatever. They hadn’t yet taken off their heels and started crying yet ’cause some guy wasn’t paying attention to ‘em.

Maddox: Great. (amused)

Dick: So I’m like, “Yeah, yeah yeah yeah, sure. Lemme get the phone.” So I took a picture of ’em, and it was dark. Right?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: ’Cause it’s the f-…the flash doesn’t work very well.

Maddox: And it’s nighttime.

Dick: It’s nighttime.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: So I give it back to her. I’m like, “Eh, lemme…gimme that back. Lemme see that again.” So I take the phone; I took out MY phone — here comes the tip — and I turned the flashlight on on my phone…

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: …and held it out to light them up when I took the picture. That’s a pretty good move!

Maddox: Yeah. (shrugging)

Dick: Next picture turned out great!

Maddox: Yeah. I see other people doing that. Specifically, the first time I saw that was a group of Asians doing it.

Dick: Oh. (chuckling)

Maddox: In a restaurant.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And it was this…I remember I was at this Italian restaurant, and they were…that’s the first time I ever saw a selfie stick. There were these, uh, these…I think they were Korean. There were these Korean girls sitting at a table that were allll…there was like 20 of ’em and they were all Korean. I’m like, “This is…some congregation going on here. I dunno.”

Dick: What, a flock of Korean girls? Is that what you’re…? (smiles)

Maddox: A flock of Korean…I don’t know. (laughing) But they were all sittin’ there -

Dick: (interjects) If you get too many Korean girls in the same place, a Korean spa forms out of it. (Maddox giggles) Did you know that? That’s true.

Maddox: Oh yeah?

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: Yeah. Well, I shoulda stuck around.

Dick: Like, it forms out of the earth.

Maddox: Well, they were too busy with their selfie sticks and doing their flash tricks to do that. Dick, The New York Times, you know what they…? This is really clever. They call…they dubbed it the “Narcissistick.” (Dick laughs) I love that. It’s also been called “the wand of narcissists.”

Dick: Yeah. (grinning)

Maddox: ‘Kay? This is from The New York Times. It says, “There are now vast, automated networks to harvest all that narcissism, along with lots of personal data, creating extensive troves of user-generated content. The tendency to listen to the holy music of the self is reflected in the abundance of messaging and self-publishing services — Vine, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Apple’s new voice messaging and the rest,” and they go on. They say, “’The majority of time that people are spending online is on Facebook,’ said Anthony De Rosa, editor in chief of Circa, a mobile news start-up. ‘You have to find a way to break through or tap into all that narcissism.’” (Dick giggles) “’We are way too into ourselves.’” And they said that “Facebook may be dominant, but Snapchat is growing much faster, over 55% in the last six months, whose younger-skewing audience tells you where things might be headed. Selfies are the dominant métier of Snapchat, an art form so addictive that New York State passed a law, to take effect in February, that outlaws self-portraits with tigers and lions.”