Selfies may seem vain and frivolous, but you may be shocked to know that there is a lot more to this cultural phenomenon than you ever thought of.
They date back to the 16th century
You might be shocked to discover that selfies didn’t start with smartphones but have a much longer history. The first-ever selfie was painted in 1524 using oil on wood. In “Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror,” 21-year-old artist Parmigianino depicted his own reflection. This young artist had no idea at that time that he was 500 years ahead of a booming trend!
They weren’t always easy to take
The first photographic selfie as we know it today was taken by Robert Cornelius in 1839. It however wasn’t as easy as tapping his thumb on the front-facing lens of a smartphone.
Cornelius had to set up the camera on a stand, remove the lens cap, run into the frame, sit for five minutes, then sprint back and replace the cap. In this exhausting process, he took what is believed to be the first photographic self-portrait.
They can offer a view into your personality
It turns out that your favourite selfie pose can say a lot about your personality. In a study published in Computers in Human Behaviour, researchers connected self-portrait styles to specific character traits.
For instance, conscientious people tend to hide the location of their selfies, showing that they’re concerned with maintaining privacy. Those who appear positive and look directly into the camera tend to be more agreeable. Incidentally, those who have a go-to “duck face” pose are more likely to be emotionally unstable.
They can be a red flag
Psychologists believe that taking selfies can become a dangerous addiction. More often than not, those addicted to taking and posting selfies are suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or depression, all of which can significantly interfere with their daily functioning.
British psychologist David Veal, PhD, says selfie-addiction is a “mental health issue with an extremely high suicide rate.” you may want to consider seeking help if you feel yourself needing to snap selfies compulsively.
Some cities take more selfies than others
While selfies are a global phenomenon, it turns out that some cities produce more than others. Time investigated the geography of selfie-snapping by building a database of more than 400,000 digital self-portraits with the caption, “#selfie.”
They then mapped out the photos’ geographic coordinates and managed to rank 459 cities based on the number of selfies they generated. The study concluded that Makati City in the Philippines is the ‘Selfie Capital of the World,’ followed closely by Manhattan and Miami.