Take a selfie. End up in the dog house.

It’s official: The Great Selfie Pushback of 2014 is underway.

After taking the entire planet by storm and gaining prominence as the 2013 word of the year by Oxford University Press, the self-snapped smartphone vanity shot is now on the no-no list at two of the nation’s universities.

Why? Because taking a selfie as you step on the stage at graduation to accept your diploma is distracting, rude, disrespectful and, well, you get the idea.

According to an AP story, graduates at the University of South Florida and Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., have been told ix-nay on the elfie-say during graduation ceremonies:

Administrators at both USF and Bryant said their intentions were far less dramatic than making a statement about a generation often accused of oversharing. They said they were simply trying to keep already long ceremonies from dragging on even longer.

“It’s your moment in the sun right next to everyone else’s moment in the sun,” said Michael Freeman, the USF dean of students who issued the guidelines saying selfies were banned along with marching, strolling and other fanciful methods of accepting a diploma. Freeman said a handful of graduates took on-stage selfies during the December commencement and he has noticed students growing more and more cavalier as they approach the university president. Aside from keeping the ceremony on time, he wanted to maintain decorum.

“I don’t have an anti-selfie bent,” he said. “I would just caution students to think there’s a time and place.”

The selfie ban, which may or may not have real teeth, is drawing various reactions from those most impacted by this heartless and draconian action – the poor selfie-less students at Bryant and USF who now must suffer the indignity of simply stepping onto the stage, accepting the diploma, smiling, then stepping back down off the stage.

Kyra Ciotti, a 22-year-old mass communication major at USF, has taken selfies lying in bed, riding in a car, posing with her dog, taking a shot of tequila and whenever she feels her hair is having a particularly good day. She had planned to keep her arm extended as she walked across the stage at a ceremony Friday, capturing the moment for a sister in Australia.

Now, chastened by the university’s admonition that it’s improper and fearful of a threat to withhold diplomas, she’ll keep her phone away.

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” she said as she posed on campus in her cap and gown for some early graduation pictures. “But I don’t want to be disrespectful.”

For others, the simple act of outlawing selfies may have sparked the desire for one.

Anthony Sanchez, a 22-year-old microbiology major at USF, said he’s only taken a few selfies in his life. But he’s not ruling out another at this weekend’s ceremony.

“It put the idea in my head,” he said. “I wouldn’t have thought of it until they said don’t do it.”




Photo: Keven Hinojosa, a high school senior on a college tour, takes a selfie alongside a statue of Rodin in the quad of Stanford University, March 20, 2014. He didn’t appear to get in trouble for it. But a couple of colleges are discouraging graduates from taking selfies while collecting their diplomas this year. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)




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  • TrevorH

    Maybe they’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way – have someone else take a picture of them!