A Brief History of Selfies


This is, as far as I can discern, the first digital selfie that my wife and I ever took together.  And yes, spell check, selfie is a real word now, so you can stop underlining it in red.  Thanks.  Now, back in the olden times, taking selfies was a lot harder than it is today.  You kids have no idea how good you have it, with your double camera’d phone devices.  Time was, we would have to just turn that clunky box around and hope for the best.  At least we didn’t have to deal with film.  That was a nightmare.

The other thing was, back then, that selfies used to be more about group shots.  If two people were together, and wanted a picture of themselves together, and there were no random tourists around, they would have to try to take a selfie.  But if they wanted individual shots of themselves, they would simply use the prehistoric method of handing the camera off to one another and taking turns.  Weird, I know.  But then we would end up with pictures like these:

Adam DD hat Simone DD hat

See?  Bizarre.  We actually traded the camera back and forth to get pictures of each other.  This was because we did not have personal smart phones and Facebook accounts.  We had no YouTube!  We had no gmail!  We were like neanderthals.


This up there is the first actual selfie I ever took of myself, and I did it as a joke.  Taking a picture of your own self seemed, at the time, absurd.  Oh, if only I had known.  By the time we upgraded to phones with cameras, as opposed to those nasty ones that plugged into walls and had numbers all over them, taking pictures of oneself was getting slightly more common, although my phone camera was not yet as good as the digital camera that we carried around on trips and vacations.


So I was trying, but failing, to take awesome pictures of myself.  On most occasions I would still ask (ick) other people to take the picture for me.  And then I upgraded to the latest iPhone…with a camera on the front AND the back!  Oh, what a miracle this was!  I could actually see what I was taking a picture of, and the thing I was taking a picture of was me!  How brilliant!  Why would I ever want to take a picture of anything else?!  The most interesting subject matter in the world (myself) was suddenly available for constant recording!  Let me tell you, I got better at the art of the selfie.


Look at that!  I am backlit like an angel!  My face shape looks to be more of a Bert than an Ernie!  My jutting square jaw looks strong and robust, with just a hint of danger.  This level of selfie could never be achieved with the ancient technology of the iPhone 3GS!

Of course the problem is that, as I got better as selfieing, so did everybody else, leading to the epic selfie war that you may have read about in these pages earlier in the summer.  So even with the current phones and cameras, there is still a bit of art to the perfect selfie.  My wife, for instance, is waaaaaay better at taking selfies than I am (although just between the two of us I feel that she has an unfair advantage, since she is starting with so much hotness to work with, whereas I need more digital magic to look good).  So not all selfies are created equal.

Where will selfies go in the future?  What new technologies will arise to help us better document our hair days?  Can we ever truly know how other people see us, even with help from Apple and Samsung?  I don’t know.  But until they release the hologram capturing devices, I’ll be here on my phone, taking more pictures of myself.  But for you.  Always for you.

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Yeah

Posted in Phone, Photo, Selfie, Throwback Thursday.

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