Sears Portrait vs Selfie

Years ago, when I had a chance to visit my families in the suburb of Washington D.C., I got an idea very similar to what we now know as the selfie that broke Twitter: I gathered my parents (alive then) and siblings to Sears studio for a family portrait.

The twelve of us all crammed in a tiny space intended mostly for Holiday Greetings photos. Nonetheless, it did the job: capturing a moment in time, for a group of twelve with a given technology (people-operated, non-uploading nor tweeting).

Unlike what happened last Sunday night at the Oscar. Ellen just gathered up the stars – all twelve – in the first rows, acting as if it had been a spontaneous idea, with the intent to tweet and retweet until Twitter crashed.

The system was put to the test. With a lot of star powers e.g. Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Angelina and Brad, Ellen and Jennifer.

oscar selfie

We know we’ve got the technology, the attention of the public, and the product (Samsung). These days it gets to be more competitive at the Oscar than at the Super Bowl: Coke vs Pepsi, Samsung vs Apple.

More than a Billion people on Earth, many got up early to watch it live (and enjoy seeing their Super Stars eating a normal slice of pizza in tux).

Dream met reality. Technology intersects our need to be recognized, remembered and retweeted. As Ellen put it “instant history”.

I only wish for another occasion for our extended families’ selfie. Years from now, we will look back at this Oscar as a definitive point where technology is finally getting friendlier and familiar even to a 5th grader. Bye Sears, and hello Selfie, however long you stay around until the next trend.


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