Leader comment: Selfies mirror an old habit

The views of celebrity photographer Rankin on the craze for selfies reflecting a 'huge wave of narcissism' carry a degree of merit.

Selfies might bring out the exhibitionist in us, but it's natural to want to be in a picture.

However, there’s no denying the love that exists for posting images on social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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This brave new world has been embraced by all ages, from grannies keeping tabs on their offspring to proud dads showing off their children’s latest sporting achievements. Anything that helps people stay connected in what can be a lonely world is to be welcomed. And what we should remember that narcissism has always been with us; it’s just been given a wider audience through social media.

A quick Google search of “Rankin self portrait” instantly brings up a wealth of “selfie” style pictures of the artist in question. Of course, very few of us have his kind of talent behind the lens. But we enjoy trying to capture memorable images we would like to share with the world.

This new-found accessibility makes us all photographers with a high-res camera in our pockets. We might be rank amateurs, but we’re having fun.