Thanks To The Selfie Stick, I Lost Faith In Humanity

An accessory to help you indulge in narcissism.

 
Thanks To The Selfie Stick, I Lost Faith In Humanity

Selfie Stick
Price: Approx. Rs 500

Humans have herd mentality. Most of us easily get influence by our peers. There's a good reason for that. Since the beginning, humans migrated and lived in groups. This also explains our irrational behaviour based on superstitions and some old fiction books. Be it 17th century witch hunts in Europe or present day caste system in India, we are all bound by mob mentality. Most people follow the majority of population. We do things because everyone else is doing it too. George S. Patton Jr, an American army general known for his leadership during the WWII had an interesting take on this: "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." With the rise of the Internet as a platform, it was expected that people will put forth their ideas, and the herd mentality will fade away. Unfortunately, people on the social networking platforms 'Share' and 'Like' stuff before reading it. Fact checking is out of question! Viral content gets more views than the essential information. Little wonder then, selfies were an instant hit in a world we live. If you were living under a rock for years, selfie is a self-portrait, shot mostly to be shared on social networking websites. Soon, top technology brands collectively lost their mind, and started promoting their products based on selfie skills. This didn't stop there, some "innovators" went on to build products to help you snap better selfies. These products are selling like hot cakes in Japan and South Korea. The trend is catching up in the United States and India. I already have spotted a dozen of such devices in Mumbai last week. Before it becomes a rage, I decided to have a crack at one of these.

The Device
Photographers would know that a selfie stick is a slightly modified monopod. The device includes a smartphone holder, Bluetooth shutter, and an extensible metal stick. The stick has a rubberised handle for grip. The device I picked-up from Amazon, has been manufactured by some random Chinese company. So I wasn't surprised when the sponge and rubber padding in the phone holder started showing the signs of slack. The metal used in the extensible pole is quite good though. The Bluetooth shutter is made of cheap plastic. So overall, the construction is a mixed bag.

Setting It Up
Before readying the stick, you should pair your smartphone with the bundled wireless shutter. The Bluetooth shutter comes with dedicated buttons for Android and iOS. I guess, these people know that BlackBerry and Windows Phone crowd is too smart to use such devices. Anyway, pairing is simple. Turn on your phone's Bluetooth radio and make sure it's discoverable. Turn on the Bluetooth shutter accessory using its power switch. Something named, AB Shutter will show up on your phone's screen. Tap on it to pair. When paired properly, the paired device's Bluetooth profile should be 'Input Device'.

Assembling the selfie stick is straightforward. Slide-in your handheld in the holder, and attach it to the pole using the screw cap. A notch below is a hinge that can be used to adjust the angle of your device. This hinge rotates in 180 degrees. Once, you are happy with the setup, tighten all the screws carefully. You don't want to drop your expensive phone from abnormal heights, do you?

Operating It
Here comes the most difficult embarrassing part of the review. The selfie stick does what it says. Hold out the selfie stick, make a pout, and press the Bluetooth shutter to click. Using this gadget, you can take selfies without having to care about the 'fat arm' phenomena. In selfies, your arm looks unusually bigger, if you fail to keep it out of the frame. The shutter works without any issue. However, taking this thing out in public is incredibly awkward. The selfie stick makes you look like a complete douche. It is as ridiculous as a grown-up with popped collar or guys wearing lip gloss.

Closing Thoughts
This is definitely one side of the story. I'm sure there will be people who can list out positives about the selfie trend. So yes, if you like taking selfies, you are free to do that. And this accessory might come-in handy too. However, do not indulge in this narcissist act only because others are doing it. You should also keep in mind that a study conducted by the Ohio State University found guys who take selfies to be borderline psychopaths. The study links selfies with self-objectification that shows your anti-social traits on social networks.


Tags : Cameras, smartphones, selfie