A couple of years ago there were rumours on the streets that selfies might have had their day. The Covid-19 pandemic curtailed much of our social life and, along with it, the opportunity for selfies.
…And even some celebrities, who have built their brand largely on the strength of selfies – for example, Kim Kardashian – seemed to be turning their back on the trend.
However, a staggering 92 million selfies are still taken. Every. Day.
This number represents 4% of the 2.3 billion photos taken around the world daily.
So it looks as if selfies are still here to stay. But how much do you actually know about selfies? Here are ten things that perhaps you never knew about selfies. Until now . . . .
1. Where did the word selfie originate from?
The word selfie is now so much part of our daily vocabulary that it’s hard to remember a time when it wasn’t. But the word has very ordinary beginnings. It originated in Australia in 2002 on the 21st birthday of a man called Nathan Hope. he enjoyed the celebrations a little too enthusiastically and ended up with a stitched lip. He posted a photo of this on an Australian forum with the caption “sorry about the focus, it was a selfie”.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
2. And when did the word become “official”?
The word selfie is now included in all major dictionaries. In 2013 it was named word of the year by The Oxford English Dictionary – beating olinguito and twerk in the process. The word selfie was defined as “a photo of yourself that you take, typically with a smartphone or webcam, and usually put on social media.”
But did you know that there is also a word “Selfitis” which refers to the obsession that some people have of constantly taking and posting photos of themselves on social media.
3. When did selfies start becoming popular?
Selfies really began to grow in popularity when front-facing cameras began to feature on smartphones. The first smartphone to do this was the iPhone 4, released in 2010. Since then, almost every smartphone has a front-facing camera.
In 2019 the 10YearChallenge went viral on social media, with users encouraged to post two images side by side, from the years 2009 and 2019. Strange to think that most of the 2009 images would not have been selfies!
4. What kind of people take the most selfies?
The average selfie taker is 24 years old, so falls into the Gen Z generation. Over 95% of Gen Z have taken a selfie, but Millennials are not far behind, with over 50% of millennials having published a selfie at least once. In fact, it’s estimated that Millennials will take an average of 25,700 selfies in their lifetimes.
And, interestingly, women take 1.5 times more selfies than men.
5. How much time do people spend taking selfies?
An average of 7 minutes a day is consumed by taking selfies. Which amounts to a rather staggering 54 hours a year.
This is higher for many 16 to 25-year-old women, who can spend up to 16 minutes a day taking on average of three selfies.
6. Is there really a National Selfie Day?
There is indeed a National Selfie Day! It happens every year on June 21st, and aims to recognise this form of self-portrait.
National Selfie Day was founded in 2014 by US DJ Rick McNeely, who has also founded various other celebratory days including National BBQ Day, Tequila Day, Cowgirl Day, Poker Day, Video Game Day and National Food Truck Day.
On National Selfie Day people are encouraged to take creative selfies of themselves and with friends and family, and share them on social media with the tag #NationalSelfieDay.
7. And what about a Selfie Museum?
Yes again. There is an interactive Museum of Selfies in Los Angeles. It invites visitors to experience a day of fun, laughter and unforgettable memories and snap mind-blowing photos. Activities include:
- An Upside Down Room
- A ‘GOT’ selfie throne
- A gold bath
- An emoji pool
- The red Oscar carpet
8. What is the most famous selfie ever?
The most famous selfie ever is probably the star-studded one taken by Ellen DeGeneres when hosting the Oscars in 2014. Her image included a host of stars including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Channing Tatum.
Probably related to this, Twitter declared 2014 as the “Year of the selfie.” Selfie was mentioned more than 92 million times during 2014 – a 500% increase from 2013.
9. What are the most popular destinations for a selfie?
The most popular destination of all is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This 1000 foot structure with stunning views attracts millions of selfie-takers every year.
It is followed by:
- The Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – the tallest building in the world at 2700 feet;
- The Roman Colosseum – one of the largest historical amphitheatres in the world;
- The Great Wall of China, with its spectacular views of the Chinese mountains and countryside.
10. Is it true that people have died taking selfies?
Sadly yes. Several hundred people have died while taking selfies. In fact, more people die while taking selfies than being attacked by sharks! 27% of these deaths are from drowning, followed by accidents from taking selfies when driving. Other causes include incidents from falling, fire, electrocution, firearms or animals.
So if you are taking selfies, do take care of yourself!
We hope that this article has given you a bit of insight into the wonderful world of selfies. In a future guide article we will provide lots of hints and tips about how to take the perfect selfie.
And if you have some great selfies why keep them to yourself? Print Your Memory can transform them into wall art or table art for your home, so that you will be surrounded by treasured memories of happy times.