The selfie stick has gone from a rarely-used novelty to a mainstream, divisive tool. It’s loved or hated and in many cases banned. Many New York and European museums have banned it. So, apparently, has the 7-Eleven at 12th and Chestnut.
Why do I know that? The employees there weren’t too happy with me standing next to the donuts and taking a picture. On Wednesday, I went around Philadelphia, armed with a selfie stick and a Billy stick (below!) in a bid to take Billy Penn selfies in public places — some that were touristy, and others less so — to gauge the selfie-stick friendliness of Philadelphia.
Each location has been rated with awkward emoji. One awkward emoji means selfie sticks brought no shame and five awkward emoji, well, that means 7-Eleven.
So, the 7-Eleven story. They’re not a fan of selfie sticks at the convenience store (even though Beyonce uses a selfie stick in the music video for her song “7/11”). I walked in, positioned the selfie stick up high for the optimal angle, started clicking and then heard the voice of the man working the cash register. Here’s what the angry-people-in-the-background selfie ended up looking like.
Someone actually complimented the selfie stick here. A woman who saw it said, “that’s better than the jawn I got.”
No odd stares whatsoever even though several businesspeople were walking around, and attendees at the NAACP conference were nearby.
People at Independence Hall were surprisingly attentive toward the selfie stick, even though it’s a major tourist zone where they should be expecting thousands of pictures to be taken with all types of devices.
Reading Terminal Market
It’s not easy walking through a crowded Reading Terminal Market with a selfie stick. The good news is people get out of your way a lot quicker when it looks like you’re essentially trying to impale them with a small pole! They were also intrigued by the selfie stick. A middle-aged couple stopped to ask about it, unsure of what it was. And another man started chanting “selfie stick, selfie stick” as I walked by the area where people sit.
A security guy was waiting at the top of the stairs of the Masonic Temple entry. He looked like he was about to pounce. It was a quick selfie.
Employees of City Hall are apparently cool with selfie-sticks. I walked through security holding it out without getting a question. On the second floor, a security guy asked where I was going but said nothing about the selfie stick. The atmosphere isn’t that great for selfie-taking, though. The halls were empty.