The selfie stick frenzy

I wasn’t planning on buying a “selfie stick” to help take pictures with my iPhone 6. They seem more like “selfish sticks” and I thought the selfie was another way that technology isolates us as human beings from each other. But, I got one as a gift and now I can’t put the damn thing down.

By Ray Hanania

RayHanania155x130I’ve been taking “selfies” for years and I never had to pay for one.

That’s why I resisted the temptation to purchase a “selfie stick,” the extension that telescopes out and holds your iPhone away from you at enough distance to take a photo of yourself and your friends together.

“Selfies” are that new Internet fad – I know. There are so many of them.

I didn’t like them because whenever I would go on vacation and want a picture of my family, I’d stop a stranger and politely ask if they wouldn’t mind if they took the snapshot with my camera and now my cell phone.

There is something about speaking to other people that makes a picture more fascinating than going it alone.

But, on my recent trip to Hawaii, I discovered the “selfie stick” wasn’t so bad, especially when was surrounded by a lot of people who couldn’t speak much English.

Only way to get the whole family

Only way to get the whole family

There I was at the Halona Blow Hole, a popular roadside scenic stop on the north side of Oahu, surrounded by hundreds of Japanese tourists and a few Americans wanting to grab a picture with the ocean waves shooting up through the lava rock formation.

I don’t know. You put up a sign on the side of the road and say something is pretty to be seen, and everyone pulls over to grab a picture.

You know something, the picture wasn’t half bad. And I could shoot it rapid fire (holding the button down) to take a dozen or more shots at one time to capture one where I was smiling and my eyes were open. And, my hand was steady. Three factors my wife constantly complains about when I try to grab a digital snapshot.

So I went selfie crazy, taking pictures in restaurants, on the beach – with hot chicks in the background – and even in the airplane, with the camera hovering above the head of the passenger sitting in front of my seat on the plane.

Nearby was the beach where Burt Lancaster was making out with Deborah Kerr in the 1953 Hollywood blockbuster “From Here to Eternity.”

Selfish selfie stick, me

Selfish selfie stick, me. At the “From Here to Eternity” beach near the Halona Blow Hole and a horde of Japanese tourists

It was pretty small, and dangerous to walk down the lava rock cliff to reach only to get slammed by the huge waves. But boy was that beautiful.

None of the Japanese tourists, at that moment, had climbed down to visit the beach – probably because the movie had a World War II wartime theme that didn’t portray the Japanese too kindly. So I was glad I had the selfie stick to take my own picture.

I also found the home where President Barack Obama was born in 1962. I’ll tell you all about it in one of my next columns.

TIDBITS OF NEWS: Check out Ed McElroy’s cable TV interview program on Channel 19 Tuesday’s at 8 pm. Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar with, an old friend, and Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton, who is recovering well from his brief illness with the West Nile virus, taped one show. I joined McElroy and Secretary of State Jessie White to tape a second show talking about how I merge my writing career and my media relations career into one … Some one woke up Gov. Bruce Rauner. His personal attacks against House Speaker Michael J. Madigan reflected Rauner’s inability to lead with new ideas to deal with the state’s mounting debt. Attacking Madigan suggested Rauner had lost the war. He quickly replaced his attack ads with ads that focused on himself. But, he still doesn’t have a clue as to how to save Illinois.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. Reach him at [email protected].)

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.

Hanania Chicago political beats and Chicago City Hall at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published the The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate. He has written for the Jerusalem Post,, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star of Lebanon, the News of the World in London, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, The Saudi Gazette, the Arab News in Jeddah, and Aramco Magazine.

Hanania's Chicagoland columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald, the Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News and the Palos Reporter newspapers.

He is President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is Email him at: [email protected].
Ray Hanania