For every one person that delights in whipping out their selfie stick for a quick self-portrait, there are probably up to five or six others in the vicinity who detest the device with equal passion. At least, that must surely have been the case at the Sydney Opera House recently when a guy in the audience thought it’d be a great idea to use the extendable pole to take a photo of himself and a friend – during a performance.
While there were no reports of angry patrons grabbing the stick and giving it a new home in a place where the sun sheds very little light, the incident has led to officials at the Sydney Opera House announcing that it “strongly discourages” use of the device in the building, especially inside the performance spaces.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, other cultural venues in Australia are also looking at how best to deal with the increasingly popular handset attachment, which offers users not only wider selfies but also an array of creative possibilities.
Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), for example, doesn’t currently have a ban in place, but it is monitoring the situation. Myriam Conrie, the MCA’s head of communications, told the Herald, “If the growing presence of selfie sticks in the museum were to become an issue – endangering artworks or visitors safety – we would reconsider.”
The selfie stick, which has become hugely popular with smartphone owners in the last year or so, has been picking up bans at high-profile tourist sites and sports venues around the world in recent months.
An increasing number of art galleries and museums in the U.S. now prohibit use of the device, while the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, which is currently underway in the UK, has introduced a ban for the first time.