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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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New handsets, new selfie heights

The leading smartphones of the year so far, namely the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and Note 9 with their f1.7 apertures on the front camera, and the Huawei P20 Pro with its 24Megapixel front camera, will be competing heavily with the iPhone XS and XS Max, due out this month, for the line honours in best selfie shooters of the year. 

It is exactly such improvements that ensure the selfie will not die any time soon. It has been estimated that more than a thousand selfies are posted to Instagram every 10 seconds. More people die from selfie-related accidents than shark attacks.  And such trends will only grow.

While self-portraits are as old as photography – the first portrait ever was arguably a selfie, taken by Philadelphia chemist Robert Cornelius in 1839, and teenage selfies go back to Russian Duchess Anastasia Romanova’s 1913 effort – it has only become a consumer obsession with the advent of the front camera on the smartphone.

Little wonder there is no etiquette around selfies. Little wonder Samsung once received a presidential rap over the knuckles when it engineered a sequel to the Oscars hit, getting Boston Red Sox baseball star David Ortiz to snap a selfie with Barack Obama. “Maybe this will be the end of all selfies,” a White House adviser later commented.  

Hardly.

While it won’t come down to that, the incident highlighted the need for some selfie ground rules.  Particularly because platforms for posting, finding, and sharing selfies are becoming more common, they are already entering the realms of the human resource department. An ill-advised self-portrait in a bar or bedroom can as easily end up in the files of a recruitment agency as in a personal photo album.

Follow on for some basic selfie rules.

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