Smithsonian: Your selfie sticks aren’t welcome

Selfie sticks have become popular among tourists across the globe. (simbiosc/Flickr)

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The parades of class trips, cherry blossom enthusiasts and families on spring break who will soon descend upon Washington, D.C., this spring may want to leave their selfie sticks at home.

Smithsonian Institution, whose museums are some of the most popular attractions in town, has now banned those unwieldy poles that help visitors photograph themselves. According to a release issued Tuesday, the change came as an update to the museum group’s security policy and was meant to protect visitors and items in Smithsonian’s collection, especially during crowded conditions.

Smithsonian spokesman John Gibbons told FedScoop the update was meant as a preventive measure and that he was not aware of a selfie stick injuring any visitors or museum pieces.

Already, using monopods and tripods is banned at Smithsonian, he said, and the update just revises the existing policy.

Selfie sticks had already been banned at some individual Smithsonian museums as well as other D.C. institutions, including the National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection. Leading museums across the country have also prohibited the device, which the late New York Times media columnist David Carr wrote some refer to as a “Narcissistick.”

But shutterbugs and Instagram addicts, don’t fret. Visitors can still snap pictures in the exhibits (unless otherwise posted, that is).

“We encourage our visitors to take selfies — just handheld ones,” he said. “We don’t want to squelch the creativity or fun of our visitors.”

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