A “selfie” is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a Smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
A selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They are usually flattering and made to appear casual. Most selfies are taken with a camera held at arm’s length or pointed at a mirror, rather than by using a self-timer. A selfie stick can be used to position the camera farther away from the subject, allowing the camera to see more around them.
The word selfie was used for the first time in any paper or electronic medium appeared in an Australian internet forum on 13 September 2002. In Karl’s ‘Dr Karl Self-Serve Science Forum’, a post by Nathan Hope stated: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer (sic) and landed lip first on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie”.As early as 2003, Italian media artist Alberto Frigo started photographing every object his right hand uses. in late 2003, introduced the concept of a front-facing camera. The Z1010’s front-facing camera had a sensor for selfies and video.
Initially popular with young people, selfies gained wider popularity over time. By the end of 2012, Time magazine considered selfie one of the “top 10 buzzwords” of that year; although selfies had existed long before, it was in 2012 that the term really hit the big time.
According to a 2013 survey, two-thirds of Australian women age 18–35 take selfies, the most common purpose for which is posting on Facebook. A poll commissioned by smartphone and camera maker Samsung found that selfies make up 30% of the photos taken by people aged 18–24. By 2013, the word “selfie” had become commonplace enough to be monitored for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Instantly becoming the most retweeted pic ever and almost single-handedly breaking the Internet, Ellen’s cheeky group shot from the Oscars was like a class photo for Hollywood’s A-list. Say cheese…
In November 2013, the word “selfie” was announced as being the “word of the year” by the Oxford English Dictionary, which gave the word itself an Australian origin. Selfies have also been taken beyond Earth. Selfies taken in space include those by astronauts, an image by NASA’s Curiosity rover of itself on Mars, and images created by an indirect method, where a self-portrait photograph taken on Earth is displayed on a screen on a satellite, and captured by a camera.
The selfie could prove fatal as the first known selfie-related death occurred on 15th, March 2014, when a man electrocuted himself on top of a train. 2014, ‘The Year of the Selfie’, was also the year Makati and Pasig, ‘Selfie Capital of the World’, saw their first selfie-related death when a 14 year old girl fell from the 3rd floor staircase landing to the 2nd. In 2015 it was reported that more people had been killed taking selfies that year than by shark attacks. Other publications have debated that analysis.
Buzz Aldrin took the first EVA selfie in 1966.
Takers of selfie photographs have fallen to their deaths while losing their balance in a precarious position, and others have been wounded or killed while posing with handguns which have accidentally fired. Concerned about the increasing number of incidents in Russia where attempts to set up a unique selfie had led to injuries and deaths, the Russian Ministry of the Interior released a “Selfie Safety Guide” in 2015 that warned selfie enthusiasts about some common dangerous behaviour. Moscow, Russia’s selfiest city is estimated to have 8 selfie-takers per 100,000 people, and ranks 301st among cities worldwide.
A 2015 study showed that 20% of young Britons had taken selfies while driving a car. Manchester has the highest amount of selfie-takers per capita in Great Britain with 114 per 100,000 people, and ranks 7th internationally. The Italian chief of state police expressed concern over the same phenomenon in Italy on the occasion of the launch of a short film with the title “Selfie”.Milan is the 8th selfiest city in the world with 108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people. In 2016 the behaviour of an Argentinian crowd seeking a selfie with a La Plata dolphin was alleged to have caused its death. Other publications reported the dolphin was already dead.