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Selfiegate: Should the kids get off our damn lawn?

If you missed it, in the bottom of the fourth inning during Wednesday night's game at Chase Field, the cameras picked up on a group of Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters, who were taking advantage of one of the Diamondbacks' college night promotions. Not that, it has to be said, they were exactly gripped with the enthralling spectacle unfolding between the lines. No, the priorities for this group seemed to be: 1) Selfies, 2) Churro dogs. 3) Selfies with the churro dogs. 4) Did I mention selfies? Needless to say, Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume played it up to the hilt, and the clip above went viral.

  • "Do you have to make faces when you take a selfie?"
  • "That's the best one of the 300 pictures I've taken of myself today!"
  • "Every girl in the picture is locked into her phone. Every single one is dialed in. They’re all just transfixed by the technology."
  • "Take a selfie with the hot dog, a selfie with the churro, a selfie just of a selfie."
  • "Can we do an intervention? How about if we just send Baxter out there and he just collects all the phones?"
  • "The beauty of baseball is you can sit next to your neighbor and have a conversation. Or you can completely ignore them."
  • "A leadoff single here in the fourth. And nobody noticed."

I'm kinda in two minds about this, much as reaction to the clip seems to be. The modern world is undeniably an interconnected beast, and I'm as guilty of anyone as checking Twitter when this week's episode of Minority Report fails to hold my attention. Hey, I wasn't even really watching the game, so I can't really condemn anyone else for not giving it their full attention. It's a harmless exercise, not particularly disturbing those around them, and given where they were sitting, they weren't putting themselves in much danger by their lack of attention to the game.

On the other hand, what the heck is the point of going to a baseball game, if you're not going to watch the baseball game? It's like going to the opera and sitting there with headphones on. Want to take selfies, eat snacks of questionable nutritional content and chat to your friends? Go hang out down the mall for free! It may only be $5, but that could be part of the problem; when people pay peanuts for something, they don't feel invested in it. Not that, it has to be said, those in the more expensive seats at Chase necessarily behave with any greater degree of decorum.

Of course, there is something supremely narcissistic about the selfie. Probably the idea that you are taking pictures of you, where you are the most important thing in it [in part because you can never be further than about three feet from the camera - at least, not without that most 2015 of items, the selfie stick]. There may be an issue, when even Justin Bieber sees fit to complain about them: "Why did you travel to see me in the first place—was it really to see me or was it to get that moment of you seeing me so you could tell people about it?" The Diamondbacks players could be forgiven for feeling the same way on Wednesday.

Oh, well: at least the sorority sisters weren't doing the wave...