IF Shakespeare were alive today, I wonder what he would think of some modern fads.

The quick answer, I guess, would be not a lot; after all, he would by now be 451.

More specifically, though, what would he think of thousands of tourists visiting his house and taking pictures of themselves?

There's a clue in Twelfth Night, where in Act 3, Scene 1, the bard writes: "Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere." (Go to the back of the class if you thought I was going to quote Polonius's gag in Hamlet, "to thine own selfie be true".)

Whatever his opinion might have been, the guardians of his erstwhile home have spoken: the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has banned the use of a piece of paraphernalia associated with this black art, the selfie stick (as have the organisers of this week's T in the Park; they're also a no-no at Wimbledon).

The reason given in the Stratford upon Avon scenario that is that they could damage the fragile wattle and daub inner walls; in the case of the two racket festivals, it's because the things are a blasted nuisance. As Billy Connolly might have said, you could have someone's eye out with that.

I have to confess here to a sense of bafflement; I have never taken a selfie. I loathe having my picture taken, and would never dream of inflicting the torture on myself.

In primary school, the visit of a photographer for the annual school snap was treated with as much enthusiasm as the arrival of the nit nurse. I always felt sorry for my parents, and unsuspecting aunts, who were obliged to stump up for a print; the school should have tried to make a virtue of the event and sold the things at Halloween rather than at the end of term.

The arrival of the mobile phone, of course, has made everyone a photographer, of wildly varying ability. People snap away constantly; so much so that many would rather record the moment than live in it.

This I have just about come to terms with; what I cannot get my head round is those who wish to insert their own physiognomy on to the tableau. A celebrity cannot step outside his door without someone pleading to put their arm around his shoulder for a chummy snap that is so patently fake. It's like asking for an autograph and then co-signing it.

I confess I wouldn't mind a picture of Kylie Minogue, but not if she and I were cheek to cheek. As that chap Shakespeare wrote in King Lear: "O, that way madness lies."