READER REPORT:

The relentless love of the selfie

JACOB HATTERSLEY
Last updated 14:35 03/04/2016
KYLIE JENNER/INSTAGRAM

Kylie Jenner is a selfie master, and she's on board with the T rex hand.

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It is seemingly impossible to determine the actual origin of the selfie. However, the sheer popularity and near compulsion of this act arguably contributed to Oxford Dictionaries claiming 'selfie' to be their chosen word of the year for 2013 (International Journal of Communication, 2015).

While many cannot help but view the act of capturing a selfie as nothing but a mere act of vanity; one need also accept the fact that the fascination with one's appearance is behaviour both recognisable and distinguishable across many mammals. Dolphins and monkeys demonstrated signs of both self-awareness and more interestingly intrigue upon perceiving themselves in a mirror.

Despite all this, there exists an unequivocal social stigma surrounding the selfie. Such has led to many feeling the need to locate areas of privacy or indeed simply silencing their smartphone ahead of a snap in an effort to eliminate that embarrassing shutter sound.

The selfie has been blamed for causing notions of inadequacy, preventing healthy social development and to a more extreme extent, depression.

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However, the selfie is also unquestionably entertaining, perhaps best demonstrated by the Selfie Olympics of 2014.

Selfies are also utilised by charity organisations and competition organisers as a means of submission organisation and promotion, as such, for good causes.

Such application and marketability would contribute to explaining why smartphones today possess two cameras instead of one or why a company such as Facebook reportedly attempted to purchase the selfie-driven app, Snapchat for 3 billion USD in cash.

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Love it, or hate it, the selfie will unquestionably be around for the foreseeable future.


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