from the Blog
The history of selfies and why nudes are everywhere nowadays
Selfie is definitely one of the biggest trends of the decade. It is widespread and used by almost every person who owns a smartphone. It is now considered to be a part of everybody’s life. It is most commonly spread in teenagers and young adults who are often obsessed with the way they look. Every group meeting always ends on a group selfie, and almost every person who owns a smartphone has taken at least one selfie at some point.
But where did this huge trend begin and what gave it the power to be so commonly used nowadays? Before going any further into the history of the selfies, we will first explain what the term selfie means. Selfie, by definition, is a photo shot of one-self, mainly by using a smartphone front camera, and usually posted on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Every kind of person, be that a huge celebrity with a million followers or an average Joe with a hundred friends on Facebook, is taking the advantage of the widespread smartphone use, great camera technology, and awesome apps and software that edit photos in order to show to other people what they have been recently doing or how good-looking they are. Yes, narcissism is very common among selfie users. Now, let’s dive into the history of selfies.
Selfies are a trend of the second decade of the twentieth century, but that does not mean that they were inexistent before this decade. The first known use of the word selfie appeared for the first time on Flickr. That was more than a decade ago, in 2004. This era around year 2005 marks the time when social media started experiencing an exponential growth rate, which most likely acted as a catalyzer for the use of selfies. But selfies did not gain fame immediately; according to the search engine results, up to 2013 the search rate for the word ‘selfie’ was fairly low. Phones did not have front camera, and the quality of the photos in the old phones was very low. Selfies using these phones would result in an awful result. Around this year, though, smartphones became very widespread.
Companies like Apple and Samsung were heavily competing on the price and the quality of the smartphones. With every innovation on the side of Apple, Samsung came up with something better and cheaper, and vice versa. The smartphones became so cheap, convenient, and powerful, that almost every person in the western world wanted to have one for themselves. Front cameras became much better, offering high quality selfies, and thus, selfie use started growing fast. Another trend that grew fast was nude selfies being taken from young people. This rise in the use of smartphones is considered to have set the main building base for the selfies to be the next big thing.
The selfies gained even more power when they were used by powerful celebrities, especially if it’s a naked selfie. Specifically, Kevin Rudd, who was the Australian Prime Minister, started to frequently share selfies on his social media sites. This trend started in June 2013, and it became a huge trend in the Australian continent. Additionally, on the same year, a young adult on a pilgrimage asked Pope Francis to take a selfie of them. Pope Francis approved, and they took the selfie together, which is now deemed to be the first ever “Papal Selfie.” Lastly, the very next year, 2014, ‘selfie’ got its last major push on the Oscars. After the winners of the Oscar were announced, over ten well known celebrities decided to take a selfie together. The person taking the selfie was Bradley Cooper, and the photo included major figures like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jared Leto. This selfie gained a lot of attention and broke a lot of records. One specific record was the most-retweeted tweet of all time on twitter, which was previously held by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The selfie on Oscars was retweeted over 1.2 million times. Additional selfies that gained a lot of attention are the naked selfies. Celebrities have often been prone to hackers, who post naked selfies of them. Celebrities are now thinking twice before taking that nude selfie.
Since the beginning of the era when smartphones became omnipresent, the use of the word ‘selfie’ has increased by over 17,000%. In 2012, the Time Magazine considered the word ‘selfie’ to be one of the top ten buzzwords of the year. According to the magazine, even though the term had existed way before, 2012 marked the year when the term “really hit the big time.” Not too long after this, the Oxford English Dictionary announced that they had just added the word ‘selfie’ in their dictionary, and that it was voted to be the “word of the year.” Oxford defined ‘selfie’ to be “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”
But this trend was nowhere near the stopping point. Innovators decided to take their shot and try to benefit from this new trend. They saw that the opportunity to benefit from it was large and decided to come up with new ideas for business. And this is how the selfie sticks were invented. Their innovator noticed that most ‘selfie’ takers had a common problem: because of the way selfie photos are taken, the photo was able to capture only a small frame of the whole view. Group photos were hard to be taken. Selfie stick solved this problem by creating a stick that would extend far away from the hands of the person who is taking the picture, so that a better and wider photo shot can be taken. Now, selfie sticks are a huge trend and almost any ‘selfie’ obsessed fan owns one, carrying it anywhere he or she goes and posting everything they are doing.
Now, in 2016, the home of the selfies is Instagram. Over 150 million users share daily photos of themselves. Instagram became popular because it allows the users to edit the photos before sharing them. A lot of those are nude selfies. According to the latest data, over 41 million photos have been posted on the Instagram with the hashtag ‘selfie’. Many more likes are added to these photos on a daily basis. Whether this huge trend will continue to grow at this rate is unknown, but selfies have definitely left a mark in the history of technology along with smartphones.