The first selfie

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People have a love/hate relationship with selfies. You’ve either spent time perfected the right pose and angle to capture a good image, or think they are the worst because you have short T-Rex arms like me. Whether your social media feed is filled with them or you think they are the bane of society, most would agree that the selfie is a relatively modern act.

However, the first self-portrait to be taken by a photographer was in 1839 by Robert Cornelius. Selfies were quite common in the early days of photography. One could argue that even before photography made self-portraits possible, we’ve always been obsessed with images of ourselves – people sat for hours to have their portraits painted and I’m sure even early cave people took a crack at drawing themselves on the walls of their homes. Even the selfie-stick itself isn’t a new invention, check out this photo taken in 1926.

While some people see the selfie as self-absorbed, I think it just speaks to our incredible need to be seen and valued. We want people to remember we are here and reinforce that we matter. Cell phones have just given us the tool to do this on an entirely new level.

This need is something we should keep at the forefront of our mind when dealing with other people – at work, home and in the community. The more we can do to show people we recognize them, the more they will be committed to us. After all, we stay loyal to the ones that value us.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What does it feel like when you don’t think people value your time, effort or presence?

  2. How do you show people that they matter (at work and home)?

  3. In what ways do you like to be recognized?