History of The Selfie – Catherine Torres


Image by pxfuel

Selfies are used across many different online platforms, especially social media.

In October of 1839, Robert Cornelius, a photography enthusiast, took a self portrait of himself outside his family’s lamp store. This single self-portrait was the first of the many that would, many years later, become a normal day-to-day thing.

Taking selfies.

Robert Cornelius set up his own camera and then positioned himself in front of it and continued sitting without moving for approximately five to fifteen minutes. This was something new back then but even farther back in time in 1524, the first ever painted selfie would be created by Parmigianino and was titled, “Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror.”

With these actions, a new phenomenon was in its first steps to become something soon known to most in the world.

In Australia of September 13, 2002, the word “selfie” was used for the first time on an Australian internet science forum in a post by Nathan Hope.

Despite this, the selfie concept is said to have become very popular in East Asia during the 1990’s. Purikura booth photos became very well-liked, but the selfie was popularized until the 2000’s came around.

Most people today take selfies by using the front camera on their phones. (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

Meanwhile, in America, with the help of the new iPhones, people started to take even more selfies with the fact that the phones had front-facing cameras as well.

Many people wonder what is so special about selfies? Why do people take them?

Selfies are a great way to keep memories with others, it’s a more natural picture than stepping in front of a whole photography set-up with a fancy background. It’s easier, and it costs nothing if you have a phone.

For someone who likes photography, this concept of the selfie might be very interesting.

Ms. Hoffman, a teacher at MECA, discusses what photography means to her: “Photography in essence is capturing and preserving moments and memories of life.”

Ms. Hoffman’s words are ones that many would agree with, as photography is in fact, very cherished and used to capture important moments, heart-warming family memories, and even a simple silly picture with your friends.

Selfies are now used for all of these things, for capturing memories and special moments, and fun pictures with siblings and friends. But of course, not everyone likes selfies, in fact there are people out there who are not on par with everyone else about how fun it is to take selfies.

“Do I take selfies – not really?” says Ms. Hoffman. “With the rise of social media, there is this huge movement of ‘posting moments of everyday life, but I am not a huge fan of that.”

There are many people that like selfies, but there are also many people who would agree with Ms. Hoffman’s opinion.

In the end, selfies are not for everyone despite their mass appeal that has been going strong for years now.