This week, the Smithsonian became one of the latest museums worldwide to ban what will surely become the bane of our existence by the end of 2015: The selfie stick.
According to the AP, “Smithsonian officials say this is a preventative measure to protect visitors and museum objects — especially when museums are crowded with thousands of visitors.”
That’s right. Put it away.
Several other museums have banned the selfie stick, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA in New York, the National Gallery of Art, also in D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Getty Center in L.A., and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
The Seattle Art Museum has also banned the selfie stick.
Why? These things are dangerous. And the average American has an incredibly poor lack of judgment about how much personal space they take up. Blame it on our car culture. Blame it on our ridiculous-sized houses, but when it comes to sharing space with others and respecting their space we are very bad at it. Hence, the ease at which some idiot from Cleveland can clock someone else in the head with a selfie stick, or knock over an important sculpture.
It is also at this point as a former subway rider that I make an impassioned plea to the people of Seattle. That huge backpack you’re wearing on public transit?
Yeah, it takes up the space of probably another human body and is knocking around the people behind you. You are probably totally unaware of this, so here’s a public service message: Take your backpack off when you get on public transit and hold it by your legs. It makes room for more people — and doesn’t hit anyone in the process.
See? Better already.