Sales of the controversial selfie stick are down by 50 per cent

Could it be the beginning of the end for selfie sticks? Photo / 123RF
Could it be the beginning of the end for selfie sticks? Photo / 123RF

Have you ever laughed at the silly faces tourists pull when they're taking a selfie? Have you almost lost an eye to a selfie stick? Have you bemoaned the vanity of today's youth?

Well, here's a reason to smile - selfie sticks could be on their way out, with British retail giant John Lewis reporting sales are down 50 per cent.

They're banned at the Australian Open, Sydney's Qantas Credit Union Arena, and Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. Soundwave promoters have also vowed to crack down.

Around the world, they're not allowed into Disney theme parks, huge festivals like Coachella, or major landmarks like the Palace of Versailles or the Colosseum.

And now it seems people have finally realised their own arms do the job just fine.

Brazilians are the worst offenders, with 55 per cent of people admitting to having used one in a recent survey by travel company Momondo. At the other end of the spectrum, only four per cent of people from Finland have used a selfie stick.

The survey, which questioned 1000 people in 20 countries, show almost four in 10 Brits see red when travellers pulled out the controversial gadget, while Spaniards are the most tolerant.

Travellers do all kinds of strange things to create a social media sensation.

Early this year, more than 100 people were injured when a freak wave slammed into the Figure Eight pools in Sydney's Royal National Park, a spot that's extremely popular for selfies.

An Australian student plunged to her death taking a photo at Trolltunga, in Norway. Photo / 123RF
An Australian student plunged to her death taking a photo at Trolltunga, in Norway. Photo / 123RF

A Belgian woman was seriously burned after falling into a bubbling hot geyser while taking a selfie in Chile. A British tourist fell 15m to her death while taking a photo at Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory. Just last year, an Australian lost her balance and died while posing on Norway's infamous Trolltunga.

Aside from the dangers, selfies cause some genuinely odd behaviour.

Last month, Kim Kardashian admitted to taking 6000 selfies on a four-day trip to Mexico.

Why travel all that way just to look at your own reflection?

Writer Erin Van Der Meer told news.com.au she once saw a woman wade waist-deep into the sea with an iPad, balancing the expensive device above her head to craft the perfect shot.

American academic Linda Henkel explained the phenomenon in a 2014 study.

"We treat the camera as a sort of external memory device," she said. "We have this expectation that the camera is going to remember things for us, so we don't have to continue processing that object."

Selfie sticks are annoying, dangerous, and downright bizarre.

We won't be sorry to see them go.

- news.com.au

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