Why you shouldn’t ask former President Obama for a selfie

Nation/World

Former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave as they exit the stage during the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO – During a brush with a favorite celebrity, politician or sports star, it’s a natural reaction for so many these days – turn your back, raise your phone and snap a selfie.

Former president Barack Obama, it turns out, is not a fan of selfies, according to DNAInfo Chicago.

“For Michelle and myself, no selfies,” Obama told the crowd at his two-day foundation summit in Chicago. “This seems trivial, but it’s not. One of the weird things about being president is I found people were no longer looking me in the eye.”

Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is nearly obscured by cellphones as she takes selfies with women while visiting the Union Market to celebrate International Women’s Day, March 8, 2016. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Some 500 people from 60 different countries attended the event, which is aimed to inspire future world leaders.

“They approach me either like this,” Obama said, arm out, mimicking a selfie motion, “or like this,” as he swings his arm to capture a different angle.

Obama joked that he’s looking forward to having “actual conversations” with his fans now. He underscored his point by saying that social media has aided organization across the globe, but that it can also create unintentional barriers when the photo prevents someone from “seeing somebody and recognizing them and listening to them.”

This is not to say that President Obama isn’t open to a selfie if the moment is right. He posed for this viral photo with former presidents Clinton and Bush during this year’s Presidents’ Cup in New Jersey.

Phil Mickelson of the U.S. Team takes a ‘selfie’ with former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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