When was the last time you took a selfie? An hour ago? A week ago?
If you’re asking “what’s a selfie,” maybe the answer is never.
For the uninitiated, "selfie" is a term for a self-portrait, usually snapped on a digital camera or smartphone held by an outstretched arm. It's also a term that been named by Oxford Dictionaries as the 2013 Word of the Year.
Cringing? Hang on. Though selfies have gotten a bad rap as the crowning achievement of a narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-obsessed youth culture, writer Casey Cep says young people today didn't actually invent the selfie.
In a piece entitled “In Praise of the Selfie,” she argues that today’s cropped, filtered, and instantly shared selfies in fact stem from a long, rich tradition of self-portraiture. Before we dismiss the selfie, she argues, we should consider all that it has to offer.