Last Year: The Selfie Reaches Critical Mass
Where were you when the selfie reached critical mass? We know where Ellen DeGeneres was: hosting last year's 86th Academy Awards, and surrounded by a gaggle of Hollywood A-listers grinning at themselves. Ellen's photo (yes, Bradley Cooper took it, but she was the ringleader) ground Twitter to a halt, and helped turn the selfie into the most inescapable tech trend of the year. And consumer electronics firms scrambled to join the party, offering selfie-friendly features in new smartphones. But no one was as desperate as camera-makers, who showed off more screens than ever that could flip or swivel to better photograph yourself, as well as those ancient ruins or natural wonders or whatever in the background.
This Year: Selfies Will Not Die, Despite Killing People
Any respectable trend would politely implode after it's revealed as the cause of multiple deaths, as was the case when the NTSB claimed in February that selfies likely contributed to a fatal plane crash in Colorado. Though there was no direct evidence that the pilot of the two-seat Cessna 150K and his passenger were photographing themselves in the moments preceding the crash, a windshield-mounted GoPro captured the 29-year-old pilot taking selfies during previous flights. But the execrable trend shows no signs of letting up, and it continues to shape how consumer electronics companies design and sell their wares. A day after the NTSB's announcement, Samsung unveiled its latest interchangeable lens camera, the NX500, specifying that, “With a Tilt and Flip up function, as well as bright vision through the display, users can easily take the perfect selfie.” Why purchase an extremely capable and versatile $800 camera? Why, to turn it around and immortalize your proud face. Sadly, the least interesting thing to happen to photography in decades isn't going anywhere.