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Selfie Stick Etiquette
Everyone's doing it.

Selfie sticks--who knew? A year ago, barely anyone had heard of these retractable monopods designed to hold your smartphone to get a better angle for selfies. Now they’re so prevalent, they’re being banned in museums from D.C. to Rome.

So how do you avoid turning a harmless photo op into an international incident? Follow these tips:

Don't break the rules Going to the Palace of Versailles, London’s National Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian or the Colosseum in Rome? They’ve all instituted bans on selfie sticks, so keep them in your bag. As for other museums, you might want to save them for outside shots only, since according to the director of the Colosseum, the sticks can leave marks on walls and works of art themselves.

Don’t use in a crowd At South by Southwest Conference (SXSW), a particularly unappealing use of the devices emerged when concertgoers tried to take selfies with the musical act in the background. All we can say is, Don’t: You’re blocking other viewers’ sight lines, and after a few beers, who’s to say you won’t accidentally poke someone in the eye? 

Don’t hold up the flow of traffic Yes, that’s a great angle of Times Square you’ve found there. But if you’re standing in the middle of the sidewalk, you’re holding up tired, cranky locals from making their way home in their cattle-like fashion. Sorry, but you’re asking to get trampled in a stampede.

Do share These little guys cost around $20, so they’re not exactly investments. We like the practice in which trail runners leave them at a particularly scenic overlook, so that after they snap a great memory for themselves, they enable other passersby to do the same. It’s practically community-oriented--not at all the "narciss-stick," as it’s nicknamed.

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