Anyone who has ever had contact with the world of photography, will be familiar with the term, ‘Selfie.’ For those of you who have not so far come across the plague, Urban Dictionary describe the trend like this:
“A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person’s arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.”
A scathing definition, but the message is essentially there – a ‘selfie’ is the self portrait of the photography world. The phenomenon has become so widespread that Time Magazine have made a table of the ‘Selfiest’ cities in the world. Searching ‘#selfie’ on Instagram will provide nearly 160 million images of self obsessed users.
As with all trends of this magnitude, you have to wonder what is driving it. Is it just new age narcissism and a natural progression from the painted portraits of the past? Is it a chance to self-validate and seek credibility in the eyes of others through social media? Or can these selfies be seen as a positive projection of our self worth and image.
Maybe humans of the 21st century have been made insecure by years of popular magazine culture and airbrushed images – selfies are a way of affirming your own existence in an age where technology has, in some ways, diminished individuality through creating generic trends.
Fotolia itself has nearly 4000 selfie images to check out. But first, let me take a selfie.