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A selfie is a picture that one takes of oneself, or a recording one makes of oneself, or many other things that one does to oneself.
The term selfie began to be manically added to hipster dictionaries in 2013. It was never used by the Me Generation, nor during the Myspace rage, nor even during the growth of digital photography, when the Divinyls recorded their one-hit wonder, I Retouch Myself.
The first selfie was a cave painter during the Ice Age who drew himself throwing a spear at a mammoth. History does not record the hunter's name, but he had a long one. As the artist's tribe chowed down on mammoth meat, his selfie on the wall above them was essentially a forerunner of modern cafeteria murals.
Later on, artists were the chief suppliers of selfies. The first artist to paint nothing but selfies was the German artist Albrecht Durer. A self-publicist who was keen to show the Italians that other people could do the Renaissance too, Durer painted himself looking like a long-haired hippie. In his bolder moods, he drew himself as Jesus.
Other artists followed Durer's lead. The Dutch tended toward much selfie work. Rembrandt and Van Gogh drew themselves in countless costumes or in bandages. At the time, these self-obsessions were regarded as a joke, and refuse would be stuck through their letter boxes mocking their pretensions. But with the growth of the cult of the individual, these once-derided artists are now seen as men before their time and their art works are collectibles for anyone with a spare $50 million in the bank.
Taking a selfie
Modern technology makes it trivially easy to take selfies. It baffles marketeers, but cell phones and laptops that point the camera toward the owner sell marvelously better than those equipped to take pictures of anything else.
In fantasy sports, rather than following your city's team with the Jewish owner who can't see fit to sign the two good players to long-term contracts despite charging fans $6 for a draft beer, your entire team is a selfie — or, in the case that you have more index cards and dice than acquaintances, your entire league is a selfie.
Risks of selfies
Just as microphones can pick up speakers and result in feedback, a preoccupation with making selfies can lead to screeches. Computers used predominantly to make selfies may become slower at doing almost anything else. In the extreme case, a computer can crash by experiencing a solipsistic lock-up.