John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Get ready to cringe.
For those who cringe at using a selfie stick—but cringe even more that people might think you're a friendless weirdo—there's the "Selfie Arm," a prosthesis that makes it seem as if a loved one is taking your photo.
Wait, don't punch your screen just yet. The device is a tongue-in-cheek experiment by artists Aric Snee and Justin Crowe, who wanted to mock today's me-all-me culture. The "Selfie Arm" is a "commentary on the growing selfie stick phenomenon, and the constant, gnawing need for narcissistic internet validation," they write at Designboom:
fascinated by the idea of technology and its illusionary ‘connectedness’ and ‘sociableness’, snee and crowe created the ‘selfie arm’. the sarcastic solution to a quintessential problem—nobody wants to look alone while they mindlessly snap pictures of themselves—the product conveniently provides you a welcoming arm. and better yet, it doesn’t talk or have emotions of any sort. you can even create fake accounts and use its finger to like all your images; its not you its the hand! ‘selfie arm’ is made of fiberglass, is lightweight and portable, and fortunately only a prototype.
Unless Crowe and Snee go out of their minds and start mass-producing these sad, disembodied limbs, folks wanting a "Selfie Arm" are out of luck. Fortunately, you can simulate your own by following this easy hack.