Selfies have not made us a more narcissistic people. They have simply brought into focus the depths of our narcissism.
We all know the Greek myth of Narcissus—the attractive man who was lured by Nemesis to a pool. Narcissus, fatally falling in love with his own reflection, drowned. But what would a 21st-century Narcissus myth involve? I suspect it would include a smartphone, selfies, and crossing the street without looking.
First used in 2002, the word “selfie” earned its place in the history books when it was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014. They define a selfie as:
“an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks”
Although selfies became ubiquitous during the latter part of the last decade, self-portraiture has a much longer history, even dating as far back as Ancient Egypt. However, it was not until the mid-15th century that this style grew in popularity. This was aided by mirrors improving in quality and becoming more affordable, as well as the rise of artists using self-portraiture as a marketing tool to display their artistic talent.