/ Technology

Are you ready for National Selfie Day?

Thursday is National Selfie Day, a day celebrating the art of taking your own picture. But are you a fan of the photographic craze that dominates social media?

Now, it’s fair to say that not everyone is a fan of selfies. In fact, much like our beloved Marmite, it seems to be a case of you either love them or hate them. For me, I do have to say that I love a selfie.

Whether you love them or not, it’s hard to deny that selfies definitely dominate social media and with their popularity comes a whole load of extra accessories to help you get the perfect shot.

Probably the most famous accessory of all has to be the Selfie Stick, which enables the user to hold out their phone further and take a picture, allowing a wider photo.

This is particularly useful for getting a nice picture with you and a great view, or a large group of people, as attendees at the Oscars found in 2014.

It’s not just selfies sticks which are popular now. With a variety of different accessories and apps to help your photos come out the best it’s no wonder selfie business is booming.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of the humble selfie stick and many venues have banned them.

This is mostly because of safety concerns, as well as issues with them obstructing people’s views.

So what do you think? Are you a selfie taker? And have you considered buying a selfie stick – or do you think they should be banned?


A selfie stick is just what is needed to test smoke alarms.

Perhaps, but I prefer to use a swagger stick.

Ah, that’s not what an Amazon fire stick is for, then?

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Isn’t it the epitome of vanity to take one’s own picture? Only the greatest of painters have been celebrated for their self-portraits.

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Taking selfies seems a fairly harmless occupation and better than taking photos of people without them knowing about it. When I was younger I took every opportunity to avoid having my photo taken but I’m now accustomed to group photos thanks to involvement in various organisations and attending events.

I’m not planning to start taking selfies but playing with the forward-facing camera on my camera this morning I see that my fringe is too long and I need to visit the hairdresser soon.

I’m female and I like a workshop and garden shed (my mum and I are each better at DIY than my stepdad and my husband put together), my dad took all the pictures of us when my sister and I were wee, and Narcissus was male, so there!

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You do seem to have cornered the market in stereotyping, Duncan. Just think – you’ll have given the numerous companies and secret organisations who employ legions of staff, simply to watch your postings, so they can email you within seconds such a lot to think about.

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But it’s only the truth from your perspective, Duncan. And where did I ever say I was after equality, whatever that means? I’m after rational and critical thinking.

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I have dug up and repaired roads, built a wall, our electrician is female………

No selfies taken though.

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Duncan, you mention Russia yet again, and here is a bit about female talent. Perhaps if the UK also made “the advancement of science (and engineering) a national priority”, and gave it both reward and kudos, we might fare better after breadsticks (see Maureen Lipman HIGNIFY).

According to Unesco, 29% of people in scientific research worldwide are women, compared with 41% in Russia. In the UK, about 4% of inventors are women, whereas the figure is 15% in Russia.

Russian girls view Stem far more positively, with their interest starting earlier and lasting longer, says Julian Lambertin, managing director at KRC Research, the firm that oversaw the Microsoft interviews……….

Alina Bezuglova is head of the Russia chapter of Tech London Advocates, an organisation that connects Russian talent with job opportunities in the UK…….

“Compared to the rest of Europe, we just don’t stress about ‘women’s issues’.”

According to Ms Bezuglova, Russian women’s foothold in science and technology can in part be traced back to the Soviet era, when the advancement of science was made a national priority.”

To try to avoid being totally off topic, taking selfies can be dangerous:
Russian man dies after posing for photo with hand grenade
A Russian man has died after he pulled the pin out of a hand grenade and posted photographs of himself holding it.

Alexander ‘Sasha’ Chechik was killed instantly in the incident in the city of Labinsk in south west Russia, police said.

According to local news outlet Kuban.kp.ru, the man had sent a text to a friend, including a picture of the grenade in his hand with the pin pulled from the device lying nearby.”

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Well, this photo of me was a selfie! I’m not sure whether that makes me vain or not but the original submitted was changed without my knowledge and was different to the current one!

The Japanese tea lady kept mysteriously disappearing so I decided to change it to the real thing in the faint hope that we might see a few more ‘real things’ but only one regular so far has plucked up enough courage to take up the challenge πŸ™‚

Mine is a sort of selfie taken without a stick. I was watching the selection of entries for the Royal Academy summer exhibition the other night (tv) and thought it could actually fare quite well. My idea of art conflicts with that of many, I suspect.

Malcolm – You may/may not be interested to read Psychology of the Shadow – en.m.wikipedia.org

PS: Absolutely nothing personal intended.

Ooh, I was a bit worried when I read this. But I see this as a colourful shadow, not a black one, and maybe that is a good thing. I was going to post a picture of me aged 10, but that also has no doubt worrying connotations.

Does your selfie inclined at 45⁰ reveal anything about you Beryl? Perhaps you were in a bar at the time? Nothing personal either – its a happy face! πŸ˜€

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I was hiding behind a palm leaf in my hall (hence the tilt) so as to conceal my ID, which I think succeeded until it was sabotaged for all the world to see! You can draw your own conclusions but please………keep ’em clean πŸ™‚

A colourful shadow would be very welcome by the way.

Duncan your avatar speaks of much potential threat and self defence in a fearful way. Have you yet learned to accept your own inadequaties and laugh at yourself?

Spiritual transcendence, on the contrary puts you in touch with reality where true answers are given; gratis. I don’t think you are quite there yet as your apparent need to suffer, for reasons only known to yourself, are blocking the path to true enlightenment.

I don’t think your goat comparison is relevant as mountain goats are more adept at living on and climbing up mountains than humans who need special equipment to make it to the top πŸ™‚

PS And before you ask……..yes I do laugh at myself quite often.

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Depends how much your coffin costs…

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@awhittle, I agree Alex. Unfortunately when there are significantly opposing personal viewpoints it seems, in any conversation, a degree of impoliteness or frustration can creep in.

A contentious comment can be responded to without it becoming personal or less-than-pleasant but in the time to respond and the compactness of many Convo comments the diplomatic reply can fail to develop. πŸ™‚

Yours in haste etc……..

While this Conversation is notionally about taking selfies, that is such a soppy topic with extremely limited debatability so it is not surprising that people are seeking to extend the discussion into a more ethereal dimension including the reverence or admiration of one’s self. I found the dialogue between Duncan and Beryl quite thought-provoking and entertaining, as well as being revealing, and I did not detect any animosity.

If I might say so – and I have hesitated for some weeks – I sometimes feel the moderation here is getting somewhat over-precious. Are other contributors feeling uncomfortable, or is that a contrived concern? If we did not occasionally wander off topic, some Conversations would come to a full stop with two comments – the first saying YES and the second saying NO.

We come from different backgrounds and have different opinions, so we are going to express ourselves in diverse and interesting ways – I hope. We have had an apposite allusion to the mythological figure Narcissus and references to water nymphs and mountain goats – and you don’t get that sort of stuff in the Daily Mail – so I commend to the moderators’ attention the legend of Echo – a mountain nymph [you see the connexion? – this is not off-topic!] whose ability to speak was cursed, only able to repeat the last words anyone spoke to her. So when Echo met the beautiful Narcissus and fell in love with him, she was unable to tell him how she felt and was forced to watch him as he fell in love with himself. Seeing his own reflection in a pool he adored it, not realising it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost the will to live and stared at his reflection until he died. This is all richly depicted in a famous painting by John William Waterhouse [not a selfie]. I invite Beryl to give us her interpretation of these stories and hope it will not be ruled out of order.

Hi John and others – there is always a fine line in moderation, and it’s one we try to tread carefully. Wandering off-topic is fine, and perhaps we could be looser on the off-topic rule.

However, in this case, the comments were clearly turning into a personal back and forth which was born out of some borderline sexist remarks.

Other forums would have taken a much harder line on those types of comments. Let’s make Which? Convo a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. Thank you.

OK, Patrick – I see your point. I just saw it as the usual showing off.

I have to say John is the third person – independently – to mention to me that they thought moderation had become markedly less tolerant of late.

Yes, Patrick: some other forums might take a stronger line but some also would be more than happy to let such comments go. It’s worth bearing in mind that John’s point about the topic is all too true: it’s a topic which fits well within the continuing and rather odd tradition of somewhat meaningless and irrelevant topics with a barely discernible relationship to consumer issues – which is in itself something some find distinctly odd about W?Cs. I await with bated breath the next topic on whether we should keep goldfish on street lamps.

W? has done itself no favours in recent months, displaying scant regard for its long-serving members in the appalling Which.net email saga and one wonders, given that egregious event, whether Which? can really afford to alienate those on whom – presumably – it will depend for the future of the business.

The dialogues between Beryl and Duncan will not deter prospective visitors; they’re highly entertaining in their own right and, furthermore, existing research on social media in general reveals that controversy and argument attract interest, not deter it.

In any case, if the aim is to create a convivial space with a focussed community offering, it’s worth noting that drifting off topic is the norm in life – not the exception.

On a broader note we need to have more substantive topics.

As this has nothing to do with selfies, should it not be posted in “The Lobby”?

The problem here is not about drifting off-topic, and we can definitely look at our moderation policies on that and loosen that rule. The problem was making comments that are either personally critical of other individuals, or making potentially offensive statements. There is no one person who is at fault here – it was a collection of comments that weren’t going to a very good place.

What was offered was a friendly nudge to step back and think again about the discussion, and there has not been any editing of others’ comments.

So to be clear: I would like us to move away from talking about apparent gender differences, whether about men or women, on a conversation about selfies. And I would not like other commenters to directly criticise other commenters on a personal level (ad hominem attack). Instead please debate the issues themselves.

“This has nothing to do with selfies”. malcolm r 2018. Mind you, I’m not sure what has. Group phots and self portraits, pictures of us against backgrounds, have been with us since the beginning of photography.

There is nothing wrong with entertaining discussions online, but as Which? is a consumers’ organisation, ostensibly looking after their interests, should it not concentrate its limited resources on dealing properly with consumer issues? Some comments on those can be quite entertaining. I’d much rather Which? used my subscription more usefully. πŸ™

But when someone makes a disparaging comment regarding perceived gender issues, I would have thought it necessary to do one of two things: either delete the comment itself, or permit the right of reply. And gender issues are, oddly, a very pertinent consumer-related subject.

Duncan said a few posts earlier “I agree with John . . . “. If that refers to me I am at a loss to understand it because I do not in any way identify with the comments in that post and I certainly do not wish to be associated with any of the points that follow that statement.

Disparaging/offensive/personal remarks are generally best deleted or modified, rather than perpetuating an unpleasant interchange. My view.

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You posted it at 13:05 today and it starts “And an edict went out . . . “

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At the risk of wandering into unchartered waters again, I will attempt to portray my interpretation of your delightful myths and legends with hopefully a scientific approach John.

Myths and legends are exactly that and everyone will interpret what they perceive according to the state of the neurological wiring in their brain, their consciousness and what has been programmed into it over the years by parents, siblings, teachers, authority figures and friends.

Narcissus, whose love and obsession with himself could also reflect a sociapathic personality disorder, or he could have been deceiving himself by perceiving the beautiful image he wanted to see of himself instead of the reality which was, to all intents and purposes, the exact opposite, which he found unacceptable and couldn’t live with.
Recent scientific research has identified a mental health disorder i.e.Body Dysmorphic Disorder where the sufferer will look at themselves in the mirror and see a distorted image.

Echo on the other hand must have been all too aware of Narcissus extreme vanity and so was reluctant to add to his self obsession by telling him so, but in reality we had a classic case of a young gentleman comedian on TV recently with no voice due to a mental disability who actually won the coveted Β£250,000 prize money with an appearance before HM at The Royal Variety Performance Show later this year. Modern technology has enabled him to communicate to the masses his wonderful sense of humour and demonstrate how it is possible to overcome the most extreme physical disadvantage.

However, when it comes to mountain goats, they reside in their own natural habitat because that is were they belong and are happy to roam the undulating landscape in search of food and water from the mountain streams in order to survive without too much effort, so I don’t get the connection between mans desire to risk his own life just to satisfy an egotistic desire to prove to himself and the rest of the world the tenacity and power of his own strength and endurance, unless of course he is doing it to raise money for the poor and needy in a society.

Finally, I am convinced there is always a valid reason why people act and behave the way they do, and my innate desire through both education and practical appliance, to find answers to those questions has taken me to places that I never thought possible, but it can be very frustrating at times when all of your efforts to help fall on deaf ears, but I have learned to accept that sometimes the truth is too painful for some to accept and reluctantly have to let it go.

Oh, well, that’s alright then Duncan. It wasn’t obvious which comment of mine you were referring to and your “I agree with John . . .” was surrounded by text that I couldn’t recognise.

Thank you, Beryl. I appreciate your insights and can understand what you are saying.

Echo could not tell Narcissus what she thought because she was cursed to only repeat the last words anyone spoke to her making communication of an intimate nature extremely difficult I should imagine.

I would not dream of applying any such allegories from ancient mythology to people alive today.

I am glad you were able to read my commentary in time John before it is has gone before the moderators awaiting their confirmation. I am not aware that I have overstepped Convo`s
T&Cs in this instance.

We’ve removed some posts from this conversation for review – we hope to restore some of these tomorrow. Please remember that respectful disagreements and arguments are always welcome – personal insults and offensive comments are not.

Wherever you see anything which crosses a line in Convo, please select the Report button so that we can take a look. And please remember our Community Guidelines, which are here to ensure a safe and constructive discussion space for all. Thank you everyone

One of the problems that seems to be occurring is that one contributor makes a generalised comment but another one takes it personally and then the dialogue seems to escalate in a contentious way. I think it is best not to overreact to people’s comments – most comments are spur-of-the-moment things and not necessarily the product of deep deliberation before submission. Taking things personally does tend to provoke a personal response.

Thumbs down [“I disagree”] are also provocative but until the facility is removed we have to put up with the risk that people will disagree with us and decline to explain themselves. I have expressed dissatisfaction with that recently but anonymous interventions are entirely worthless so there is no point in getting upset by them.

I had to withdraw from Which? Conversation for a few weeks recently due to personal circumstances. I occasionally looked in to see what was going on but I did not contribute anything. I must say I thought it was beneficial to step back for a spell and let things take their course. I realised that I had been spending far too much time here. There are hardly any new topics nowadays and almost everything worth while has already been said, many times in some cases. I had got into the habit of keeping Conversation rolling along in the background and joining in on every topic as new comments came in. I don’t do that any more and feel better for it. Some topics I don’t even open now.

Thank you and a thumbs up from me John. I agree with everything you say.

It only takes one hypersensitive individual to create a diversion from a serious topic by resorting to a long and soulful narrative of irrational and unrelevant ramblings about secret services, spies and/or gender differences.

I predicted a while back in an e-mail to W/C team that if this was allowed to continue the Conversation would come to resemble more of a comic opera than a serious debate about consumer issues.

Some of my recent comments have now been withdrawn, one rather oddly in which I clearly stated a need to get back to the main topic about selfis, the other in an attempt to explain my interpretation, based on sound scientific evidence, how longstanding psychological research equates to myths and legends of the past and its relationship to modern life. There was nothing in this commentary that criticised, disparaged or denigrated any member or contributor to the conversation.

I admit I am not as dedicated to W/C as some, as I do have other interests to fill my time but when I do contribute it is usually to provide sensible and constructive answers with a view to solving some of the many problems life presents.

I do believe and agree with John, there is a need to have frequent breaks at regular intervals to enable you to see a situation more clearly and provide purposeful and meaningful answers to purposeful and meaningful topics.

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I wouldn’t know what to do with a selfie stick Alex as I don’t possess a Smart phone, but do they make them strong enough to support an I pad?

I am used to cutting my own hair which involves a few well endorsed yoga contortions, various mirrors, plenty of room to manoeuvre the scissors and a little self belief, especially when weighing up what to spend the money saved on in the process πŸ™‚

I’d like a mirror that doesn’t present the image “front to back” so I cut the bit on the correct side. An Ipad could do that perhaps?

I have traveled alone on a number of occasions, and I love taking travel photos. I also like to prove that I was actually there, and so a selfie fits the bill. There’s no one else to take a photo of me (though I do sometimes ask a kind stranger), but selfies can actually be more flattering.

Is there an element of vanity? Sure, but it’s nice to have memories.

I don’t (and wouldn’t) use a selfie stick. I hate them, and smirk when I see people use them. I am gifted with long arms (or monkey arms as the suit maker in Hoi An, Vietnam, told me). I’m actually quite interested in drones taking photos from above though – the photos/videos always look so professional…. but that’s probably a step too far.

Long arms not necessary, Patrick. A nice self portrait and Photoshop(?) (or similar) to insert your presence in any scene. Then you can view the vista in full, without a facial intrusion, and add yourself to show you were there (you can always cheat).

Haha that is cheating!

I took a few selfies when I was younger, but now I think, naaah. The last time I took a selfie was 5 years ago (using an SLR in front of a mirror) when I got a new job and took the opportunity to get my hair cut short and stop dying it: new me (and it suits me better, so I’m told). It was to show a friend I wasn’t going to see for a while and she asked me for a pic. Otherwise, I’ve never liked the way I look particularly, so why bother? As to selfies with celebrities, like all human beings I need some sort of validation (oh, do give me thumbs up below please πŸ™‚ ), but not the look-at-me-with-a-celeb kind. But if folks like to do that and they enjoy it, great!