Some weeks ago I had the honour of writing a guest article on the power of images. Since we know that an image is worth a thousand words we can easily say that they convey messages very effectively.

In that article I described three types of images.

  1. Artworks
  2. Plans and Blueprints
  3. Eye Catchers

The Fourth Type of Images

But some days ago it dawned on me that I forgot one type of pictures that has become very trendy on social media platforms: The selfie.

I will never understand how people can upload images of themselves that shed a very unflattering light on them. But of course – as usual – the negative examples stick out of the crowd while most of the images are all right.

The Selfie Is Not New

Please do me a favour and don’t say: “Nowadays, people [something negative] while when we were young [something very positive].” It is true that before smartphones and digital cameras appeared, most people had to go to a photographer to get our pictures taken. But already around 1900 the portable box cameras were available which enabled people to take pictures of themselves in front of a mirror.

And did you ever consider how many painters created self-portraits? As you will see in the slideshow at the end of this article not all of them were in the artist’s favour. Moreover, most of these artists painted more than one self-portrait. Vincent van Gogh for instance decided to become a painter at the age of 27 and died at 37. He left us 37 of his likenesses.

There are various concepts of what communication is about. Since humans are highly social and need “their herd” I think it is safe to say that we want to express our thoughts and our feelings.

Since gesture only works in a face-to-face communication we either tend towards Shakespeare or follow van Gogh.

Famous Selfies

Please click on the image to start the slide-show.

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