the selfie protocol

Luca Parmitano space selfie
Luca Parmitano space selfie

Now the the venerable OED has recognized “selfie” I think we can expect more and more people to jump on the selfie bandwagon, thinking of them as harmless fun. Even his Popeness is all about the selfie!

But like other popular fads – disco fashion, train surfing, and international nuclear arms races – selfies can have negative consequences too.

Because the tops of mountains don’t sport many bystanders willing to snap a summit shot, I’ve been shooting selfies for at least a decade. So I thought I’d post a few common-sense rules to help the neophyte selfie photographer.

Our lesson starts with two selfie situations – one OK, the other a bit of a headache.

Summit of Cathedral Peak, Sierra Nevada, 2010
Summit of Cathedral Peak, Sierra Nevada
Nelson Mandela Funeral, South Africa, 2013
Nelson Mandela Funeral, South Africa, 2013

Can you spot the difference? I think someone forgot to follow these three very simple rules:

1. No selfies at funerals – even if they include the corpse. Double “no” if it’s a state funeral.

2. No selfies with attractive blonde Scandinavian prime ministers if your wife is present.

3. Don’t give in to “peer pressure” from the “cool kids” to shoot inappropriate selfies.  Even if all the other world leaders jump off a cliff (or have effective universal socialized health care programs or renounce the use of drone strikes to execute foreign nationals), you don’t need to follow their example.

Happy – and responsible – selfie-shooting!


1 Comment

  1. Too funny G…I was “googling” selfie taking advice for a friends who insists of posting really bad ones on FB…your blog was my first hit! Loved it! Also saw “horoscope (Cancer)”… other than Jon in common, we are both crabs! Nice reading you, take care. Carol

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