WHETHER you like it or not, taking a selfie is a global trend that you cannot ignore.

Recently I had a family group taking a selfie and one uncle tried to be difficult but ended up joining and eventually he requested that selfie to be sent to him to. So, you can act like you are not into selfies, but we know deep down, they are here to stay!

And Huawei, which is taking over the mobile phone world with the quality of their selfies takes us down the memory lane of selfies:

1.       It’s not such a new concept

Believe it or not, the very first ‘selfie’ was taken way back in 1839 by an American photographer, Robert Cornelius. His purpose was not purely narcissistic, however, as he was taking the photo to try out a new lighting technique (that’s his excuse, anyway). Unlike the ‘quickie’ selfies of today, experts estimate that Cornelius would have had to stay in the same position for three to 15 minutes to get the shot.

2.       It’s become much more social

Groupies are becoming increasingly common, especially at social gatherings and family get togethers. A groupie refers to a selfie taken as a panoramic shot, which includes a group of people, as opposed to just one individual. The groupie has become a salient feature in forging new friendships and taking snapshots of moments in time with your nearest and dearest. 

3.       It’s political

During their municipal elections back in 2014, the people of the Netherlands took to social media to proudly snap selfies of themselves in the election booths with their voting ballots, giving rise to the #stemfie. This is frowned upon in most of the world, however, including SA, citing the fact that it goes against the ballot requirements of secrecy.

This has not deterred people, though, and many still take selfies outside voting centres to show their pride in their democracy. SA’s special version of the #stemfie is the election thumb selfie, where we flaunt our inked thumbs. In India’s recent elections, there were even competitions for the best election selfie to encourage more people to vote.

4.       It’s scientific

Stanford computer scientist, Dr Andrej Karpathy, says there is in fact a formula for the perfect selfie. You must:

-         Follow the rule of thirds (your face should only take up a third of the photo).

-         Tilt your face to catch the right lighting (up for men, down for women).

-         Take the photo from a centre or top-down angle.

-         Avoid any shadows and ensure that there isn’t more than one primary source of light.

-         Use a filter (there’s no shame – that’s what they’re there for).

  1. It’s great to get those endorphins pumping

Our ability to snap a selfie or groupie at any second of the day helps us create rich and special memories, especially when they depict us smiling and having fun with loved ones. According to some psychologists, the nostalgia caused by looking through these photos can cause a spike in your “happiness chemicals” or endorphins, which are responsible for those elevated moods.