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June 21, 2018

But First, Let Me Take a Selfie .

But First, Let Me Take a Selfie

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CTIA Research Team

Today is a very important day: it’s National Selfie Day.

There’s a nearly 70 percent chance you’ve taken a selfie at some point. If you’re between 18 and 34 years old, that probability is almost 90 percent. In fact, some estimates say millennials will take over 25,000 selfies in their lifetime.

It’s no secret that the front-facing cellphone camera is the perfect tool for selfies. Wireless innovation and technologies increase the quality of our photos and our ability to do more with them—filters, effects, and more—increases nearly every day.

Over the years, presidents, pop stars and even astronauts have taken these snaps—and in honor of National Selfie Day, here’s a quick look back at some of the standout selfies and key milestones in this mobile-driven trend:

In 1839, Philadelphia photographer Robert Cornelius removed the lens cap of his camera, rushed into the frame, and sat—for several minutes!—to process the world’s first selfie.

In the 1890s, photographer Hannah Maynard captured what might be one of the first special effects selfies, using multiple exposures to include her likeness multiple times in one photo.

In 1966, Buzz Aldrin snapped a photo of himself on a spacewalk outside Gemini XII, in an interstellar image that he deemed the first space selfie in history.

In the early 2000s, mobile phones with built-in cameras became available to consumers; and in 2003, The Ericsson Z1010 was introduced, the first mobile device with a front-facing camera. Selfies begin to take off.

On January 27, 2011, Instagram introduced the hashtag capability. The same day, user @jennlee uploaded a photograph of herself, captioning the snap with the first documented use of #selfie.

In 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries announced “selfie” as their word of the year, noting the popularity of the word “Selfie” grew 17,000 percent since the year prior. Making it official, Merriam-Webster added “selfie” to its pages in 2014.

During the 2014 Oscars, host Ellen DeGeneres rounded up some of the biggest stars in Hollywood like Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, and Meryl Streep, and Bradley Cooper for a selfie. Retweeted over three million times, Ellen’s selfie became the most retweeted tweet in history.

Selfies are not just for people either. Members of the animal kingdom have been known to get in on the fun, including this cat, Manny, who has become a prolific selfie taker.

In 2015, apps started rolling out filters that could be used to enhance the background of your selfie, create flattering lighting or even give you panda ears, bringing virtual reality effects to smartphones everywhere.

Selfie enthusiasts are always innovating. Animated avatars are growing in popularity. Who knows what we’ll see next for selfies—but however the story of selfies unfolds, we hope you always find your perfect angle. Happy National Selfie Day!

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