October 8, 2018 | by: Bill Bradley

The Story Behind the “Selfie”

One could easily say that the first photograph was indeed a selfie. What most people don’t know is the role a Canadian Physicist played in the selfie story. Willard Boyle was born on Aug 19th, 1924 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. That seems like an awful long way from Silicon Valley, the mecca of hi-tech. Boyle left Amherst at an early age for Quebec. After a few years of home schooling Boyle attended Montreal’s Lower Canada College to complete his secondary education. Boyle attended McGill University, but his education was interrupted in 1943, when he joined the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. Upon the end of the war Boyle returned to McGill earning his BSc in 1947, an MSc in 1948, and a PhD degree in 1950.

After spending a few years teaching at Royal Canadian Military College, Boyle joined Bell Laboratories and the rest is history. One Day in 1969 Boyle’s boss gave him a mandate to “come up with something new.” In just one afternoon Boyle conceived the idea of a “Charge-Coupled Device.” What does that mean – you may ask? The CCD is the actual technology that lets us take photo’s with our cell phones

A 2016 study examining the relationship between personality and selfie-posting behaviors suggests that extroversion and social exhibitionism positively predict frequency of selfie posting, whereas self-esteem is generally unrelated to selfie-posting behaviors.Selfitis is a condition described as the obsessive taking of selfies, although it is currently not listed as a mental disorder in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders). Obsessive taking of selfies and posting to social media has been found to be linked to many symptoms common to mental disorders; including narcissism, low self-esteem, loneliness, self-centeredness, and attention-seeking behaviors.