Selfie Sticks & School Spirit

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Source: Melanie Maxwell, The Ann Arbor News

Digital natives today choose to take selfies to show others where they are and who they are with. The photo is usually ridiculous– intended to be funny — and is shared all across social media. As if the notion of taking a selfie wasn’t enough, there has been a resurgent of selfie sticks recently around the world. The selfie stick allows people to take pictures of themselves, so, selfies, but adds depth and space to the picture because of the 3 foot extendable pole that the selfie stick has. This feature allows for people to take group pictures without interrupting someone to ask them to take the group picture for them.

In crowded areas like museums, concert halls, and sporting arenas, selfie sticks have been banned because of how disruptive they are to the people around them. In August 2015 the University of Michigan even banned selfie sticks from entering the Big House. Feelings were divided on this decision since some wanted to have the opportunity to take cool group selfies to show their school spirit and others wanted nothing to do with the new technology. Chip Patterson of CBSNews was all for this decision to ban selfie sticks and said that “it was the best decision for [Michigan’s] football program since hiring Jim Harbaugh as its head coach.”

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In a stadium as crowded at the Big House, the removal of selfie sticks reinforces the idea of personal space. However, at a place where students, alumni, and faculty alike take so much pride in their institution, the banning of selfie sticks inhibits them from taking fun group pictures on game days to show their school spirit. Before selfie sticks were banned, they were used to heighten the school spirit in the stadium by allowing game goers to publicize their maize and blue obsessed day through goofy group selfies.

Despite this ban on selfie sticks inside the stadium, students have continued to rely on them to take massive group pictures. On a recent trip to what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, a group of University of Michigan Alternative Spring Break kids took a selfie that included about 50 students.

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As you can see, selfie sticks have allowed for students to showcase their interests while also showing that several others share these interests, as evident by the group photo.The innovation of the Selfie Stick has made it easier for large groups to take selfies and share them on social media. The ban on selfie sticks has become prevalent across the country, but the new technology has still allowed many to share what their groups are doing.

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