Graduation Selfies Aren't OK, Colleges Insist — And, You Know What, They've Got A Point
It's the year of the selfie, there's no doubt about that: Ellen Degeneres is doing it, Pope Francis is down for it, and even President Obama knows his angles. And while the front-facing camera may seem like the greatest thing since free Wi-Fi, there's a time and place for it. Graduation is not one of them. The University of South Florida and Bryant University in Rhode Island are asking students not to take selfies during graduation as they collect their diplomas on stage, disappointing obsessive self-documenters everywhere.
Don't freak out just yet — there's no ban on selfies at the schools. Officials say they just want to keep those already lengthy ceremonies from dragging on even longer. Of course, graduation is a big deal, but your university president probably isn't too fond of your thumbs up and duck face as they shake your hand, especially if it's done a dozen times over with a never-ending line of soon-to-be-graduates.
Listening to your commencement speaker? Snapchat away. Waiting to throw your cap in the air? Go ahead and extend that arm. The universities say selfies are fine during the ceremony, just not on stage, the Associated Press reports.
Granted, you probably should be enjoying your graduation instead of documenting every waking moment. Sure, it seems like a natural thing to do (even babies are guilty), and it's not wrong to want photo proof of your wondrous achievement. But research suggests that attempts to preserve such moments usually results in a lack of memory from event itself.
Maybe you'll get a dozens of likes, but even the special events director at Bryant University says on-stage selfies could ruin photos that family members are trying to take. Shocker: people once sat through ceremonies and experienced life (even tornadoes) without live tweeting or taking gratuitous pics of themselves.
USF went as far to send out notices on the new rule and even placed an announcement in the student newspaper. As for the graduates? They'll always love their selfies.
"It put the idea in my head," one senior told the AP. "I wouldn't have thought of it until they said don't do it."