Years ago taking photos was usually only reserved for special family occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas. After all, cameras were bulky and required delicate handling of the film. The film had to be taken to be developed and we had to wait for this service. Modern technology has since provided us with much easier access to cameras as we now carry them around in our bags and pockets on our smartphones. Now a photo can be a spontaneous action that takes seconds and involves just the click of a button. There is no process time as the picture is seen instantly and thanks to social media, shared instantly too. For a Gloucester Selfie, visit

In 2010, to support video chatting services like Skype and Facetime, Apple released the first phone to have a front facing camera, the iPhone 4. All of sudden we had the technology to start snapping ourselves too! Five years ago we shared 50 million photos daily, today that number has risen to 1.8 billion photos a day. Photos seem to have become as disposable as words in the digital age. Photos are now used as a form of communication like never before and the selfie is the perfect way of doing this.

Facial expression is the most important element to verbal communication and so the selfie can reveal a lot. The word selfie was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014 and refers to a photo that is not to be kept and hung on a wall but as a throwaway piece of fun. These types of photos are not supposed to be special or artistic but are almost the opposite and represent spontaneity and a lack of finesse.

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So why might you take one? Well, the question should be why wouldn’t you? Celebrate every fun moment with your friends and family. Any you don’t like can be deleted and there is no waste involved. The great thing about selfies is that you can show off your good side. When someone else takes a photo, you have no control over how it will turn out but taking a selfie means you can get everything right, like the lighting, the position and the outfit.

Posting lots of selfies isn’t about being self-centred or conceited but about being comfortable in your own skin and showing the world that you are. Selfies can also be a great art project and photos can be rearranged and edited. Photoshop is another fun tool and you can make your face look any way you want.

93 million selfies are taken every day and if we still used film it would amount to 2,583,333 rolls of film. A third of all selfies are taken by people aged 18-24 and 90% of teenagers have taken a selfie. Rather frightening is the fact that every year teens spend almost 7 full work days taking selfies. Nearly half of these selfies are uploaded to Facebook, 13% go to Whatsapp, 9% to Twitter, 8% to Instagram and 5% to Snapchat. Where the other 17% go is anyone’s guess!