Then and Now: The Story of the Selfie
About the Author

Product Mgr. Consumer Mobile Apps | Ram is an iPhone addict with no cure in the near-future. He is responsible for defining the mobile user experience at SanDisk. He recently launched the iXpand Sync app and is working on SanDisk Connect mobile apps. Prior to SanDisk, he was at Yahoo and worked on improving user experience on Yahoo Search App and Yahoo Answers Mobile web products.

One of the most popular phenomena in recent times has been the “selfie.” The term has become so popular it’s been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

As you probably know, a “selfie” means taking a picture of oneself, usually with a background of significance. A selfie is not just a picture. It’s a symbol of personal expression, marking one’s presence at a special place, celebrating the togetherness of friends, family and fun. But in every sense, these snapshots are a way to capture one’s timeline and relive those moments again.

But is the selfie really a recent phenomenon? Not so much. Although he wasn’t the first, in the 17th century, the famous artist Rembrandt took self-portraiture to an extreme by painting many self-portraits that showed a range of moods and themes, creating a visual diary of approximately 40 years of life. Rembrandt looked at himself in the mirror while he painted his self-portraits. The first true selfie is born.

Imagine you travel from California to see Niagara Falls with your family. You set up your canvas and start painting yourself and your family with the spectacular falls in the background because you want to capture this rare moment and preserve it as a selfie. Not so easy, right?

Technology has given us the power to take as many selfies we want, hundreds or even thousands of them. Advancements in phone and camera technologies as well as the storage technologies have converged so we can capture every moment of our lives. The one thing that never comes back is the time that has passed. We can now relive those moments whenever and wherever we want to, without having to paint ourselves by looking in the mirror.

Think your selfies are cool? Check out Rembrandt’s self-portraits and learn from the master.

Photo credit: APG: Stephanie Heald



About the Author

Product Mgr. Consumer Mobile Apps | Ram is an iPhone addict with no cure in the near-future. He is responsible for defining the mobile user experience at SanDisk. He recently launched the iXpand Sync app and is working on SanDisk Connect mobile apps. Prior to SanDisk, he was at Yahoo and worked on improving user experience on Yahoo Search App and Yahoo Answers Mobile web products.



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