Guest Post: The Curse of the Selfie Stick by Hyrum W. Smith

Introduction from John:

You can read a short biographical statement about Hyrum W. Smith at the end of this post, but here are some things to know right now:

Hyrum conveys powerful messages using simple and clear language.  It’s evident both in this guest post and in his book writing.

Book Covers (3)His new book, The 3 Gaps:  Are You Making a Difference?, has more potential to help you with significant change than hundreds of other titles on the shelves right now.

We share a last name, but are not otherwise related … much to my regret.

Enjoy this post about his take on a current pop culture behavior and prepare to hear much more about Hyrum’s book in the coming days.


Selfie - GratisographyThe Curse of the Selfie Stick

All around the world venues, including The Louvre in Paris, The National Gallery of Australia, The Hermitage in Amsterdam, and the Coachella music festival in California are banning the ubiquitous selfie sticks. Icons of a new generation they make the act of taking a “selfie” so much easier, often allowing more “selfie” addicts into the shot. Smart phones have made it possible, perhaps more than at any time in history, to make “you” the image to remember an experience by. Whereas, in previous generations it was the vista, the view, the building, bridge, painting or performer that you’d actually travelled to see, now these things are background to another picture of you. Today, it seems, we travel the world to find “us”.

At 3 Gaps we talk about the Beliefs Gap as one of the gaps hindering our ability to find real happiness and experience Inner Peace. A Beliefs Gap is created when what we believe is inconsistent with “reality”. As a general rule we can know our beliefs are straying from reality when they are becoming less and less productive – less able to “meet our needs over time.” Now, where a selfie might meet an immediate need to capture and share our image on Instagram or some other social media platform, does it really have a lasting, productive effect? In years to come will screen after screen and folder after folder of pictures of “me” be something I can share with loved ones – friends, family, children and grandchildren? Or, will it seem a little shallow when all I’ve got for memories are mirrors?

The subtitle of my book, The 3 Gaps – Are You Making a Difference, asks that important question – am I making a difference? I don’t think a catalogue of selfies is, in itself, a bad thing but, I do believe it may take away from a better thing. What if we all spent a little less time capturing ourselves in the environment and spent a little more capturing the environment in ourselves? What if we took time to see beyond the smartphone lens and experienced where we were – the canyon, the gallery, the city, the vista and, from that experience, took away lessons and stories we could share with others to enrich their lives, teach lessons, stir emotions and provide stimulus to conversations, rich with experience, on how we might all do better at making a difference in this big, beautiful world we all share?

After all, you don’t become relevant by becoming a caricature with life happening in the background, you become relevant by becoming a participant with life happening all around you.


This post was originally published on July 20th, 2015 at

Hyrum W. Smith headshotHyrum Smith is a distinguished author, speaker, and businessman. He is the co-founder and former CEO of FranklinCovey®. For three decades, he has empowered people to effectively govern their personal and professional lives. Hyrum’s books and presentations have been acclaimed by American and international audiences. He combines wit and enthusiasm with a gift for communicating compelling principles that incite lasting personal change. You can visit him on the web at

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