I must confess I don’t care for selfies. Why does one have to take pictures of himself every day before driving to work? Maybe if you’re abducted that duck faced selfie you took in the morning could be put on the side of a milk carton. Let that sink in.
This article from Insurance Journal about art work being accidentally destroyed by people taking selfies grabbed my attention. The article is written for the purpose of warning museums about people taking selfies in front of artwork. Here are some of the examples they gave:
- A man climbed up to a niche where a statute of Dom Sebastion, a 16th century Portuguese king, was displayed. He accidentally knocked down the 126 year old statute while trying to take a selfie.
- A man lost his footing trying to take a selfieand caused minor damage to one of the glass pumpkins on display for Yayo Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room Installation “All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins.”
The fundamental problem that this article is exposing is people getting distracted. This is nothing new. Humans are not very good at multitasking. The American Psychological Association commented on this dynamic, and there are many studies that support the theory.
Museums, like the Museum of Modern Art or my personal favorite the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, ban selfie sticks. The reason for this concern is best summed up by Sree Sreenivasan the Chief Digital Officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Theoretically speaking, an art gallery or museum can come after your homeowners or renters insurance policy to recoup the costs incurred to restore or replace the art that you accidently damaged. Although the likelihood is small.
The point is in this, it’s very easy to be distracted while you are doing something.
If you love selfies or loathe them, the fact remains that one needs to be careful on how and when to take pictures. If you find yourself in an art gallery and you have to take a selfie, go the old fashioned route. Ask someone to take your picture. You may be capturing a moment on your camera, but you may also be saving Art in the process.