1839: The First Selfie
The first selfie was taken by Robert Cornelius, who is listed in the Guinness World Records for the same. In 1839, he used the daguerreotype technique to capture his own face in his family’s lamp and chandelier shop. Joseph Byron’s selfie was the next famous selfie from a time before smartphones. In 1909, he used a box camera, probably a Kodak, to photograph himself on the roof of his company, Marceau Studio.
Evolution of The Modern Selfie
When an Australian named Hopey posted a picture of his split lip on an ABC forum in 2002, he explained that he’d tripped on a flight of stairs while drunk and called it a selfie. This was the first time the term had been used, and it left an impression. Selfies became popular as more people took pictures of themselves, either directly through the camera or using a mirror, and shared them online. Celebrities, astronauts, presidents, and even Pope Francis have jumped on board. Platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, and Tumblr fueled the trend even further by introducing social features and hashtags.
Technology And The Modern Selfie
Today, you can take a picture in under a minute by simply tapping a few icons. This transformation of technology has been rapid but also has required a great deal of innovation, with each technology interacting with the next to make self-portrait photography easier and more fun (let’s not forget the filters). Instagram (everyone’s favorite) launched in October 2010 and quickly took off, registering 10 million users in a year. Jennifer Lee uploaded the first image with the hashtag selfie (#selfie) to the app on January 16, 2011. The selfie hashtag was not included in the caption of the image. Jennifer Lee added the hashtag to her caption on January 27 — the day Instagram began supporting hashtagged words — and a trend was born. Today, millions of #selfies are everywhere, and some of the world’s most famous people have joined in on the fun. Selfies appear to be here to stay, as they have, in fact, been for centuries.