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Selfie – A New Craze in New Era

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Selfie [noun, informal (also selfy; plural selfies)] can be defined as a photograph that has been taken of oneself typically with smartphones or webcam.

Oxford Dictionary has announced “Selfie” as their International Word of the Year 2013. The earlier use of word ‘Selfie’ is found in an Australian Online Forum post in 2002:

2002 ABC Online, 13 sept:

“ ………… I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

Selfie can be described as a self-portrait, self-presentation or self-promotion on social media. The trend of taking selfie and uploading it on social media is raised within few last years.

Although photographic self-portraits have been around since 1839, when Robert Cornelius – an American Pioneer of Photography, took a picture of himself. After that some experiments were made around 1970s with Polaroid cameras; but films were expensive. So it was almost impossible to create a better photo by taking it again.

With the invention of digital cameras, one can easily takes the selfie with the timer button or simply by holding camera at arm’s length. You can delete the image if you do not like the results. The invention of smartphones with front facing camera made the selfie go viral.

It is a common perception that the aim of selfie is narcissistic – having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself or physical appearance. Hence knowing techniques of taking Selfie is also important to portray self-admiration: a certain angle (a smart phone tilted at 45 degrees just above your eye line), a light source (usually a flash reflected in a bathroom mirror) and the pose (sideways smile, suck in cheeks, pouting lips, and doe-eyed stare). After that you can edit the picture by blurring the outlines, softening colors and applying other effects like sepia, vintage, vignette, grayscale etc. Now you can upload it on a social media – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc. and it is ready to viewed or liked by others.

Owner of What I Wore Today (WIWT) website and fashion blogger, Poppy Dinsey says about Selfie, “Sometimes it’s just a practical matter of not having anyone around to shoot you and that’s why I always took my own pictures in mirrors for WIWT. But you’re deciding how to frame yourself – you’re not trusting someone else to make you look good. With front- facing cameras of iPhones, and so on, you can see the picture you’re taking and frame it perfectly to show yourself off as best as possible – your mate isn’t going to make the same effort when taking your picture. Plus you can retake and retake without anyone having to know how much vanity has gone into that casual pose.”

As “With good comes the bad”, when selfie is out and posted on social media, you might lost control on it. Most of the public including friends and family might see it but it can also be misused or exploited by your adversaries or competitors.

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