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Selfie is a term used for a photo that somebody takes of him or herself with a smartphone.
For example, the picture with this article shows myself in front of the MedTouch sign when I started for the Cambridge, Mass., company in 2014 as a senior client relationship manager.
Selfies became popular with the invention of smartphones – like the iPhone – that have cameras that face the user and allow him or her to view the photo as it’s being taken. The only things necessary to take a selfie: A smartphone with a camera on top of the screen and a person who can point it at him or herself and click the button. Sometimes selfies are hard to take when the sun shines and puts a glare on the screen.
Selfies are often posted to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and are an easy way to capture a moment in time.
Group selfies are also possible, but people usually have to be pretty close to each other.
Another nice thing about selfies is that this photography technique allows the person to be in the photo while also showing the surroundings. This second selfie posted with this article shows me in a more rural area just outside of Las Vegas in early 2014.
When posting a selfie – whether it’s to a social media site or a blog – it’s always good to add some context. Where was this taken, why were you there, what’s its significance and maybe even why did you decide to take it in the first place? At least giving the location of the selfie is helpful for the people viewing it to have some context.
Some people – like Dave Langston – shoot selfie videos and post them on YouTube. You can read our feature on Dave’s selfie YouTube project here.
Also keep in mind that posting too many selfies – especially in individual social media posts in rapid succession – might turn off some people that follow you. But as long as the selfies add value for you and your audience – and especially if they share a story – it’s always good to take and share them.
The term was added to the dictionary in 2014.