Barack Obama Doesn't Want To Take A Selfie With You. Here's What To Do Instead.

"For Michelle and myself, this seems trivial but it's not."

Former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle attended the first Obama Summit in Chicago earlier this week, and they had an interesting rule in place: no selfies. The reasons for this might surprise you, but they could also make you think twice about how you approach people you admire.

"For Michelle and myself, this seems trivial but it's not. No selfies," Obama said at the event, according to Bustle. "One of the weird things about being president is I found people were no longer looking me in the eye and shaking my hand because they approached me either like this or like this." The former president then reportedly imitated people holding their cameras up to take a photo.

"I can walk anywhere as long as I'm willing to take a selfie every two steps," Obama joked to former White House chef Sam Kass about post-presidency life earlier this year, after sharing he didn't miss "the bubble" of being president, which often meant he couldn't "just take a walk or to sit at a café."

Although selfie-taking has resulted in some pretty great photos of Obama, like the one he took with a baby and her mother at the airport over the summer, many of us can probably relate to the need to document interesting or exciting moments, often at the expense of fully experiencing them. After all, if you have the chance to meet Barack Obama, you want to look him in the eye, right?

Obama isn't the only public figure to have a "no selfies" rule, although the reasons vary for other people. Emma Watson told Vanity Fair earlier this year that it's a way to maintain her private life, explaining, "If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they've created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I'm wearing and who I'm with. I just can't give that tracking data." 

As Mashable points out, this isn't the first time Obama has expressed his selfie skepticism. During a conversation about social media at the University of Chicago this year, he suggested young people be more careful about the types of photos they post online. 

"If we had pictures of everything I've done when I was in high school, I probably wouldn't have been President of the United States," he shared. "So I would advise all of you to be a little more circumspect about your selfies and what you take pictures of."

As it turns out, Prince Harry, who visited a Chicago high school with Michelle Obama during this week's Summit, has a similar stance. "I hate selfies," he told a young woman who wanted to take a picture with him in 2015. We'll be sure to keep that in mind if we ever run into him.


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