Smithsonian to visitors: Put down that selfie stick

Who doesn’t want the perfect shot leaning into the skeletal but still fearsome jaws of a T-Rex? Or standing in front of a space craft that has been on the moon?

But alas, the killjoys rule. The Smithsonian museum has joined other museums nationwide in banning the selfie stick.

According to the policy update on its website, the Smithsonian is prohibiting the use of these “monopods” for the safety of visitors and collections.

The Smithsonian’s move follows similar steps taken by other museums nationwide, even though the bans appear to be a “pre-emptive strike,” with few reports of negative selfie stick issues, as the New York Times reported last month.

Museums recognize, however, that the selfie-movement, if I can call it that, has been a boon of sorts. During the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney, the museum passed out postcards encouraging selfie-taking and posting on Instagram.

In that vein, at the Smithsonian, the selfie is still permitted:

We encourage museum visitors to take selfies and share their experiences—and leave the selfie sticks in their bags.


Above: Keven Hinojosa, a high school senior on a college tour, takes a selfie alongside a statue of Rodin in March 2014 — in the quad of Stanford University, not at a museum. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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