The “Selfie” Era

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Taking a selfie, 2014. Nilsson, Susanne. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Via Flickr.

Digital cameras have completely transformed modern perceptions of image sharing. Before the digital era, people tended to be more selective about the images they captured, due to the costs of film, processing and printing. Now that digital cameras have nearly eliminated film from the equation, however, no image is off limits. Individuals with digital cameras or smartphones can capture sacred moments, silly moments, and everything in-between. The forward-facing lenses on camera phones, which allow photographers to easily shoot self-portraits, have given rise to the coining of a new word, “selfie.”

Voted Oxford Dictionaries’ 2013 Word of the Year, a “selfie” is defined as any “photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.” Social media plays a huge role in the way digital images are shared. With websites like Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr, and apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, digital snapshots have become instantly consumable.