But first, a selfie

selfie_copy3

Microsoft has announced plans to introduce a “selfie phone.” Ha ha I know, right? According to the Verge, the phone will feature a 5-megapixel forward-facing camera (instead of its standard 1-meg) and 4.7-inch display. And this is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a girl in traffic, making duck lips behind a steering wheel.

I kid.

As much as people like to ridicule and mock selfies as just another symptom of self-obsessed Millenial culture, the truth is that they’ve actually been around for nearly six centuries. Yes, just as technology has democratized media (the Internet) and PR (facebook, twitter) it has also brought easy displays of narcissism to the masses. In fact, I call it the Democratization of Narcissism™.

Before, only elites with the resources to commission painters (and later, photographers) to create portraits were the ones doing it. But just like Prometheus stealing fire from the gods, Kodak allowed the 20th Century common man to show his vanity just as proudly as the bourgeoisie. And thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and Co. we can now easily share it!

It seems Microsoft is betting big that the trend is here to stay. And why not? As soon as man figured out how to capture an image, he started believing his was the most interesting (guilty). Not to mention 2013 was declared the Year of the Selfie by the Oxford Dictionary. However, I would argue this trend jumped the shark somewhere around the time these guys found out what Instagram is.

 

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