[Translated from a contribution by Nanda Seye]
The Selfie. Everyone knows everything about it... Or do they? How was it born? Where does it come from? Here I decided to dedicate an article to the Selfie story. I, a good disciple of the Web Lord, took a geeky pilgrim to write this article and preach the Good News of Technology to you, my dear readers...
So what is a Selfie?
Have you ever photographed yourself with your smartphone? Your webcam? In front of a mirror? If so, you have already done a selfie. A Selfie (or self-portrait) is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone and shared on social networks. Nowadays there is a growing trend towards group selfies, often effectively supported by selfie sticks.
Some of the milestones of the Selfie
Everyone thinks they know everything about the Selfie, but how many know its actual history? Here are some important dates in the Selfie evolution:
1839: first appearance of the selfie technique
Robert Cornelius (1809-1893) took the first selfie in history. This chemist (and fan of photography) took a self-portrait in front of the family shop in Philadelphia using a daguerreotype (a photographic process involving silver plate created by the French photographer Louis Daguerre).
1920: first group selfie
Five photographers (Uncle Joe Byron, Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core, Ben Falk) of the Byron Company (a photo studio in Manhattan) snap a picture of themselves on the roof of Studio Marceau in December 1920.
1964-1965: best-selling record: A self-portrait by Andy Warhol, which sold in New York at the May Post-War and Contemporary evening sale in Christie's, fetched $38.4 million.
2002: the word "selfie" is used for the first time
The word Selfie appeared for the first time in September 2002 on an Australian online forum; a young man explained that he took a picture of himself to show the consequences of a fall down the stairs while he was drunk.
2004: The first #Selfie hashtag appeared on the Flickr site in 2004
2012: Rise of the selfie
2013: The word "Selfie" was added in the Oxford English Dictionary right between selfhood and selfish.
2014: "Selfie" was selected as Word of the Year at the 10th Word Festival in Nièvres where nearly 98,000 Internet users voted
2015: The word "Selfie" was added in the "Petit Robert 2015" Dictionary, along with "Hashtag"