The selfie stick actually predates the smartphone:

My daughter, Sage, and I were travelling. She was young, and we were actually in Italy, at the Pontevecchio, and she was taking a picture of me. I was taking a picture of her, and then [we were] trying to flag down somebody who understands English, which is not always . . . [We’d] have to wait to see who might be likely, someone wearing a camera, maybe. Or I’d stabilize it on a fencepost of some sort and set the self-timer and have to run in to the shot. I kept thinking, “There’s got to be a better way.”

A fascinating interview with a man with a reasonable claim to be the inventor of the Wand of Narcissus