back to article World's first selfie found on Wayback Machine

News that the world selfie has been named word of the year today sent the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) into a flap, because after having been identified as the host of a forum in which the term was first used it was unable to produce the actual picture. The Oxford Dictionary has decided this thread in a science …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. poopypants

    It is vital that we preserve our early selfies for posterity

    Not to mention all our accumulated cat videos.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is vital that we preserve our early selfies for posterity

      Selfie and Facebook are synonymous with the age we live in.

      All about self gratification, the publication of private lives that are neither interesting nor important to the rest of the population other than in the eyes of the one that publishes the inane, boring, self centred, insignificant, uninteresting and sadly lacking minutiae of their daily existence.

      Welcome to the decade of 'look at me, look at me'.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: It is vital that we preserve our early selfies for posterity

        I think you totally fail to understand what FB is for, to its users. It is a way for people WHO ACTUALLY KNOW EACH OTHER to keep in touch.

        The fact my friend got a new kitten is indeed insignificant and uninteresting to 99.9999% of the world, but it is interesting to me. If you restrict your use of FB to only those people whose lives you are actually interested in, it makes much more sense.

        I suggest the reason FB is so boring to so many on this site is because they HAVE no interest in anyone but themselves. Which is ironic when you're claiming FB is about people who only care about themselves.

        If someone on FB is boring or spews updates that are boring, I simply block them. I'm sure they do the same if they feel my updates are dull too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is vital that we preserve our early selfies for posterity

          Correction, that is what FB is supposed to be for... in reality people judge their worth on having thousands of friends they never ever met but share their lives with....

          I use Facebook to keep in touch with people who are either a) living in another country and timezones mean its easier to share updates than talk or b) are addicts to Facebook and who seem to have forgotten that SMS & email exist.

      2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: It is vital that we preserve our early selfies for posterity

        While I agree with your comment about Selfies, I've used facebook pretty much since they accepted non us members.. Personally, I use it partly as a way to keep in touch with friends I do actually spend time with and partly as a way to keep in touch with friends that for various practical reasons, I no longer see regularly (such as those who have moved to a different country for instance). I don't have thousands of friends on FB, nor do I need them.

        Regarding publishing photos and status updates about myself, personally I don't, really do that much. I usually use my status to comment on something I've seen or experienced and 99% of the photos of me that are online were uploaded by other people.

  2. hammarbtyp

    The first selfie? Really?

    You know photography did exist before the internet right? In fact I'm sure just after photography was invented the idea of immortalizing one self occurred (probably at the same time as arty shots of ladies in various states of undress )

    Exhibit A.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: The first selfie? Really?

      Actually, the oldest selfies are about 40,000 years old.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the word not the deed

    To state the bleeding obvious, people have been taking photos of themselves ever since cameras were invented. Often by holding the camera at arms length from your face. There's nothing new about a selfie.

    What is new, is the word 'selfie'.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: the word not the deed

      And they've been drawing themselves since the invention of the mirror. Rembrandt in particular was a master of the selfie

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: the word not the deed

        Whatever. Oxford is wrong. We were using the word "selfie" for self portraits taken with Polaroid's "Land" cameras, especially the SX-70, in the early 1970s. (San Francisco Bay Area.) I suspect searching the Usenet archives could turn up many cites for this term being in use on TehIntraWebTubes in the very early 1980s, but I can't be arsed to look. A late 1970s CompuServe or TheSource photography forum archive would probably also turn up cites, if such an archive exists.

        Kids these days think they invented everything ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the word not the deed

          @jake - you have form for making outlandish unsubstantiated claims. Why not break the habit of a lifetime and be arsed to find a citation. Your credibility make go up a notch if you do.

  4. saif


    Here we see the primitive start of what evolves into the quintessential hallmark of the modern day selfie....the "duck face"

    1. AndyS

      Re: Evolution

      I like the way he developed his particular duck-face too:

      1. Hit face with ground

      2. Get stitches

      If every duck-face had that history, it would be a trend I could get behind.

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Evolution

      I've often though that selfie-indulgers are a colossal bunch of duck-faces

  5. John Deeb


    All classical forces of production finally cumulating in the production - naturally - of self itself. This selfie reflects intriguingly the nature of the beast but it's really more about producing "self" through the accumulated interactions and the socializing. It's the Social producing itself through net-work: expressed often as individual displays but the means of production remain sharing & responding to image and vibe.

  6. John Robson Silver badge

    Dr Who

    Is surely a better tool to use in this discussion...

    Or even any of the many great artists who have reused canvases...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PATIENT ZERO, then

    From here we can chart the plague of frothing vanity, and swollen fish-lip pictures.

    This message was written whilst holding a smartphone camera at isometric angle, in a nightclub toilet.

  8. MJI Silver badge


    I always thought it was another term for w@nking

    1. Isendel Steel

      Re: Selfie

      certainly massaging something..

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duckfaces can be challenged

    If a 'selfie' <shudder> contains the titular lip-pinching, then comment on the post. Offer the contact details of a local pest control officer.

    'You must have a bee's nest nearby - because your lips don't usually look like that'.

    Yes, your comment will be deleted rapidly at the behest of the vain poster, but you will have sent them a gentle prod that they are being very, very silly.

    1. Tom 11

      Re: Duckfaces can be challenged

      I prefer goading by referencing a shellfish allergy.

      "Oh no! been at the Prawns again? you should learn your lesson"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the first mention of a selfie"

    I've looked at the quote in context and personally find it rather unlikely that this is the "the first mention of a selfie". It way well be the first mention that has been preserved, but that's not the same thing at all.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I disagree...

    Granted, it may be the first photo taken of themselves online, but I remember seeing an image on imgur of some guys grandmother from the 40s who took a photo of herself.

    Taking photos of oneself has been around since probably the invention of the camera.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: I disagree...

      " Granted, it may be the first photo taken of themselves online"

      Really? In 2002? You must be very young to say that!

      I posted my first "selfie" online in 1990, and I was late to the party! Or doesn't it count because I wasn't making a "duck-face"?

  12. P.Nutt

    I claim my free beer

    I have a selfie from 2001,

    No ducks were harmed during the creation of said selfie.

  13. Sander van der Wal

    That's the first lippie

    showing all body parts in one shot, waste of a good opportunity to post even more boring pictures

  14. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    'Storage admins may just have found the moment at which it is finally possible to ask for budget dedicated to the above tools. You can hear them now: “Boss … did you hear how the first ever selfie was nearly lost?”'

    I think of the lines from J.V. Cunningham's "To What Strangers What Welcome":

    Where the lost hurries to be lost,

    Both in its best interests

    And in the best interests of life.

    I go lobbying for more storage, but would I could get rid of all the piled up videos, pictures, etc. that were of mild interest at best when made and survive through neglect and indifference.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021