Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

The selfie

by : 

As many of us carry our cameras or phones almost constantly, one particular style of picture is becoming ever more ubiquitous: the selfie, a photo that you take of yourself.

The “selfie” is not new; artists, both amateurs and professionals alike, have always produced self-portraits.  Personally I didn’t enjoy art at school (probably because I was never very good at it) but I do remember that we were always drawing pictures of our faces. Nevertheless, I think this shows just how old the self-portrait is.  The only thing that has really changed is the technology which we use to create self-portraits. We have gone from pencil to the digital camera.  Well, that and the fact that the digital version has now been abbreviated to selfie (a word now so popular that it was named the Oxford English Dictionary Online’s 'Word of the Year').  

Traditionally, the best way to take a selfie was to stand in front of a mirror. This was fine though it does look a little silly as, no matter how hard you try, you cannot hide the camera.  Of course, phones now have cameras on both the back and the front so you don’t need a mirror to guide you. The drawback to this more modern method is that you can usually see the photographer’s arm in the photo.

I don’t really understand the attraction of the selfie. Taking a photo of yourself in the bathroom doesn’t provide the best scenery (especially if you forget to put the toilet seat down, gentlemen). At famous tourist attractions, it always saddens me to see people take selfies; travelling on your own is fine, but are you so mistrustful of strangers that you cannot ask a passer-by to take the photo for you? It also seems bizarre when people take photos of themselves on public transport; again, the scenery is not exactly the best.

However, there has been a great deal of controversy over the selfie. Recently, one New York tourist took a selfie with a man threatening to commit suicide on the ledge of a bridge behind her; and, even more recently, Barack Obama, along with David Cameron and the Danish prime minister, Thorning Schmidt, took a “group selfie” at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

Wanting to remember significant moments is all very well – but there’s a time and a place, isn’t there?


Have you ever taken a selfie? What do you think about selfies? 


TripleSwag's picture
TripleSwag 23 April, 2015 - 20:11

I like taking selfies with my mum because I love her. Sometimes I don't like selfies because people take it too seriously, they do selfies in the middle of the street and while driving a car needless to say its dangerous . LOL

From #TripleSwag

0 users have voted.
BlazeTech's picture
BlazeTech 23 April, 2015 - 20:07

It was nice... But it was pretty rude to take a selfie at a funeral. On the one hand it is good to take selfie if you are by your self... But a group you could ask someone if they could take a picture of all of you. However, never take an extreme selfie it can be really dangerous.

0 users have voted.
patchyplum's picture
patchyplum 22 December, 2014 - 06:40

I have taken selfies too..and I like it's experience but I see that there's nothing much in that...But in my point of view it's useful.what I mean is this..Suppose you're inside a plane and you just catch the sight of a your favourite band sitting behind of course you need to remember that,so a selfie will be nice(this maybe silly and unreal though as you don't expect such things to happen and no one's that brave.not me).

0 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
MALINE 16 August, 2014 - 22:51

I heard in the news that 7 out of 10 teenagers are taking selfies in dangerous situations like while they´re driving or in the middle of the street, I think that´s so reckless to do, to risk your life over something that isn´t worth it.

0 users have voted.
diegbonilla's picture
diegbonilla 5 June, 2014 - 17:03

i like the selfie because is interenst...t's sort of strange to me that people who seem so mistrustful to ask another people to take a photo of them, and they look enjoy taking photos of themselves with confidence.

0 users have voted.
amr100's picture
amr100 22 April, 2014 - 14:54

I thank that selfi is very important to share your live with your friends and your community,also you can document the best time in your life.

0 users have voted.
dzeni's picture
dzeni 22 February, 2014 - 10:15

I always take a selfie because I like to do it. I prefer take a group selfie with my friends. They are interesting and funny.

0 users have voted.
cklj's picture
cklj 19 February, 2014 - 15:02

Yes of course I've taken a selfie. I love photographing especially nature and I love photographing myself. Selfies are interesting photos. That's great way to kill the boredom, by having fun photographing yourself. I usually use selfie when I want to see how do I look from someone's else point of view, in this case the camera. I think that now the selfie photo is trend.

0 users have voted.
carolina's picture
carolina 7 January, 2014 - 20:41

Now the majority of people have a selfes home. some hpbby for others to take pictures for memories .. But it is not the best to take pictures every 5 minutes, in all places and in various ways. In my opinion, if it has one likes to do a lot of pictures, you keep them for himself, but not to publish them on all the sites imaginable.

0 users have voted.
Ray_Nardi's picture
Ray_Nardi 13 December, 2013 - 22:39

In my country, people usually take selfie whenever and wherever they want, selfie is very popular and not only young people do it, but the adults do it as well. It's sort of strange to me that people who seem so mistrustful to ask another people to take a photo of them, and they look enjoy taking photos of themselves with confidence.

0 users have voted.
Proud_S's picture
Proud_S 13 December, 2013 - 19:28

i take selfies every day,but i'm taking them outside the house, because i hate taking pictures in my bathroom.
I think it's nice to take selfies but it's way better when you're taking them with someone special :)

0 users have voted.
Hanna's picture
Hanna 11 December, 2013 - 18:48

I have camera on both sides of my phone, but I don't use the front one to make selfies. Actually I don't do such photos cause I'm not very good on them)= Selfies are not bad but It's real shame when someone makes them in bathroom or when girls do "duck"-face. So I agree with author of this text, that we need to think about time and place.

0 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
Natalija 11 December, 2013 - 14:26

Yes, of course. I took selfies so many times, because I like taking photos of myself, and other people find it boring when you ask them to take a photo of you. And it's not just me,many of my friends take selfies, and we enjoy doing that. There is one annoying thing about selfies, I hate when someone take a selfie in bathroom, in front of mirror, and post that kind of photos on Facebook. Many people do that, but it's so annoying.

0 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
Niluh 11 December, 2013 - 12:31

Yes, i have taken. I sometimes take a selfie when i want to take photo of my face only, you know it's hard if somebody helps me to take photo of it. Nowadays, people seems feeling more comfortable to take selfie than asking somebody help. Most of my friends are mad about taking photos and they love to take a selfie.
When i went vacation to Prambanan Temple, i saw few foreigners took quick pod and camera so they didn't need any help, they could take a photo by themselves. I don't know are selfie and quick pod same or no. Selfie is so popular right now, in fact everyone loves it and i can say that i also like taking a selfie.

0 users have voted.