It seems that 'selfies' are all the rage these days, with politicians and actors among those regularly posing for such pictures. Even the Queen seemed to enter into the spirit (albeit unknowingly) at last year's Commonwealth Games. 'Selfie sticks' are a common aid as well, helping the general public to capture a memorable moment as they mix with their favourite sports star. Their popularity doesn't seem to be shared by the officials at many of the leading sporting venues though. #Wimbledon has become the latest arena to inform spectators that they will seek to prevent their usage within their grounds.
Wimbledon has added specific details to their visitors' guide for this year's Grand Slam tournament. Their guidelines ban the devices in
The All England Lawn Tennis Club seem to be in agreement with several other leading stadia in frowning on selfie sticks. Similar bans have been imposed by London's O2 Arena "due to safety considerations" and so as to not restrict other fans' view. They do, however, allow and indeed welcome selfies being taken in the arena.
Many of the UK's theme parks also seem to ban their usage, such as Alton Towers. However, their guidelines are often ambiguous and require interpretation before coming to that conclusion. Museums such as the Tate group, National Gallery and the British museum love selfies but loathe the accompanying sticks.
Football grounds were
But just what is it that offends the powers that be about the simple photographic aids? They seem relatively innocuous, at first sight, being just a metal pole or stick to allow 'selfie' photographs to be taken at an extended range. The digital camera or #Smartphone that the person wants to use can then be easily attached to them by an adjustable clamp.
The issue seems to be with the nuisance factor that they can create for other spectators and visitors. By using them, they can interfere with the enjoyment of others trying to watch the action taking place, whether that be of the sporting, musical kind or whatever.
In that respect, they seem not that different from a spectator taking a large sign or placard into a venue, as they too can block others' view. It would be interesting to learn how many fans have also found their enjoyment of the spectacle before them disrupted due to the noisy vuvuzelas. Cricket fans have had to put up for years with loud drumming and an army of musicians often playing at the international grounds. Such performances seem to have been viewed as merely adding to the atmosphere.
Yet it seems that selfie sticks have found a particular niche of antagonism towards their usage. So for now, tennis fans will have to leave them at home and make do with the basic selfie with such as Andy Murray. Unless of course they can revert to the good, old-fashioned method of asking a friend to take the picture instead. Of course, that may be asking slightly too much. #Social media