National parks and selfies don’t go well together for a variety of reasons not least among them being the safety of park guests.
But they might have a solution for us that allows those guests to get the selfies they want without putting themselves or others in danger.
The only question is whether or not it will work.
After all, tourists are more than happy to ignore posted “no photography” signs, climb over restrictive barriers, and generally disregard any official attempt at corralling their behavior.
So why would this solution work?
Iowa’s County Conservation System’s Tom Hazelton told The Guardian, “They’re nice, sturdy, cedar stations…They are getting used and they are low maintenance and easy to build: the signs are $30 and the wood is another $60 and there you go.”
And Tom might know a thing or two about selfie stations as he’s installed a couple hundred of them in Iowa alone.
As for the locations of the selfie stations, they seem to be determined by the popularity pf the spot and a kind of heat-mapping of the park itself. In fact, the park service is actively involved in developing technologies to help it better predict and control crowd sizes and movements.
Beyond that, however, the parks are trying to change the public’s behavior when they visit to make them both more conscious of the natural beauty and fragility of the ecosystem they’re visiting as well as being aware of other tourists. Hopefully, it will also deter risk-seeking behavior and taking selfies in unsafe locations or at least curb this trend somewhat.
Do you think selfie stations will help with some of the problems caused by tourists trying to take selfies at some of the most popular spots or do you think it will add to the problem? Let us know what you think of selfie stations in the comments below.
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