Selfie is like Democracy: OF the person BY that person but FOR Social Networking Sites!
The history of selfies date back to the 19th century, and the first selfie was also the first ever photograph of a person. The process wasn’t actually the same that we use nowadays, which includes taking out your phone, switching on the front camera and making a duck face, but as a matter of fact was much cumbersome. Robert Cornelius was the first person to take a selfie, which was more of a daguerreotype.
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This daguerreotype process involves a use of many chemicals, and it took as long as a couple of minutes between setting up of lens and the photograph getting clicked. Besides these two minutes, the process of preparation of the apparatus took many days as the chemicals used for this process wasn’t easily available, and was pretty expensive too. But this does qualify for a selfie as the person didn’t take help of anyone else in getting his photograph clicked. It was in 1839 that Robert Cornelius produced his daguerreotype.
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It wasn’t that late after the first selfie got clicked that various other methodologies to click one’s own photograph started getting developed. The next phase was of photographic self portraiture. Sounds simple enough, but then again, the technology was not that developed at that time. Though there had been a lot of improvement in the photographing technology, cameras still were pretty bulky. Hence no one thought of holding the lens of the camera in front of his face. The best way to obtain self portrait was standing in front of the mirror and clicking with the help of the camera. A photographer named Nadar took this self portraiture to the next level and created the Revolving Self Portrait.
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The present day selfie gained popularity in the later months of 2009 after the era of those Myspace photographs. These Myspace pictures were typically taken in front of bathroom mirrors or other such scenarios where the photograph was usually flashed and not that clear. Though it became a trend at that time, but it also brought up the bad taste of people. After 2009, when Facebook started reaching new heights, and due to the inclusion of front facing cameras in various phones, the era of selfie started growing. The image hosting sites say that after 2009, teenage girls were the hot sensation in terms of clicking and sharing these selfies. They used to hold the smartphone just as we hold nowadays for the purpose of clicking a selfie. The only difference was front facing cameras were not that popular and the people used to click through rear facing cameras only.
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Just in order to include more people in the selfie, a new term was devised. Groupfies are the photographs that contain more than one subject and are clicked by one of those subjects only. After 2010, the era of selfies saw a bloom, and the smartphone companies started including wide-angle front facing lenses in their devices so that more of the population could be included in the photograph. Selfie Sticks were also devised so that a person could increase the prospect of subject and include more people.
Though clicking selfies and being absorbed in editing that photograph take up a lot of our time, they have, in a way, taught us of being independent. Once there was a time when a tourist used to ask random localites to click his photograph. And now, there’s this time when tourists ask random localites to get included in their selfie/groupfie. This is a level of transition this world has seen. Sites like Instagram and Snapchat would have received a much less audience if selfies wouldn’t have been there. Moreover, selfies have become the new autographs.