But where did the selfie stick originate? Difficult to say, although Grech reckons they became popular more quickly in Asia, "where people are perhaps slightly less image obsessed (ironically, perhaps) and don't mind what passers-by think of them [if they look silly while they're trying to] achieve the perfect image". "In Britain, there's an element of 'cool', but come Christmas when novelty presents are rife, sales shot up." But it's hardly a new idea. As Twitter has documented extensively over recent days, they appeared in a 1995 book of "useless Japanese inventions". https://twitter.com/_tessr/status/551935857779695617
If 2014 was the year of the selfie, 2015 is looking increasingly like the less catchy, but arguably more profitable year of the selfie accessory. Those who can learn to accept selfies for what they are – light-hearted, a bit stupid but generally pretty harmless – will find it easier to spot the next trend.