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自拍是一种流行病 得治!

2014-09-01    来源:FORTUNE    【     普特网校:在线口语培训

人人都在玩自拍 像是流行病

人人都在玩自拍,自拍就像一种流行病一样在社会上蔓延开来,就连奥巴马总统和教皇方济各也未能免俗。过去两年以来,随着智能手机,尤其是带有前置摄像头的iPhone 手机越来越普及,自拍开始疯狂地流行起来,从一种潮流变成一种现象。就像书写语言一样,自拍已经成为现代人进行交流的工具。

What do President Obama, Ellen Degeneres and Pope Francis have in common? They’ve all snapped selfies in the last year. So has Miley Cyrus (she’s posted 121 of them on Twitter). Plane-crash survivor Ferdinand Puentes. And astronaut Steve Swanson. And so, I’m nearly positive, have you.

The selfie, of course, isn’t new—it has been around since the advent of photography, when chemist-turned-photographer Robert Cornelius captured one in 1839. But in the past two years, it has become explosively popular—the sort of meme that scales, seemingly overnight, from mere trend to phenomenon to something your Aunt Edna talks about in her crocheting circle. The Oxford English Dictionary called out “selfie” as the 2013 word of the year. More than half of all millennials (age 18-33) have taken a selfie and shared it online, according to a March 2014 Pew Research Center poll. ABC is debuting a new primetime sitcom called Selfie in late September. (Seriously.) Indie band The Chainsmokers produced a music video called #Selfie that became a viral hit (and was awful!). How the heck did these hastily snapped-and-shared self-portraits become le dernier cri of smartphone society?
自拍本身并不是新鲜事物,它与摄影技术同时诞生。早在1839年,由化学家半路转行成摄影家的罗伯特•科尼利厄斯就拍摄了一张自拍照。不过在过去两年里,自拍开始疯狂地流行起来,从一种潮流变成一种现象,到现在,就连你的邻居大妈也会在打毛衣时“咔嚓”一张。《牛津英语辞典》将“自拍”(selfie)评为“2013年度单词”。据皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的一项民调,一半以上的“千禧一代”(即18至33岁的人)曾经自拍并且把照片分享到网络上。ABC电视台今年9月末将上映一部新的情景喜剧,名字就叫《自拍》。(这是真的。)独立乐队The Chainsmokers制作了一部叫做《自拍》的MV,在网络上极其火爆(看上去非常可怕)。那么,在这个智能手机大行其道的社会,为什么人们如此热衷于自拍呢?

Cultural Contagion—How the ‘selfie’ went from narcissistic kids’ play to a new visual language overnight. Data Source—Google Trends / Cyrus Photo: Jeff Kravitz—Getty Images

In a new Fortune series on Contagion, my colleagues and I have set out to explore how things spread—from the frightening MERS-coV virus (here and here) to M&A rumors, from market panics to book sales to how studying Twitter itself became a go-to discipline on American campuses. In probing this strange viral process, we wondered, was there something to be learned from studying the history of a social epidemic? Well, maybe so.

Like so many social changes, the rise of the selfie begins with a shift in technology. For most of the twentieth century, photography was expensive and the gratification of capturing a moment was subject to lengthy delay. That was back when amateur photographers purchased roles of film, and sent those roles to labs for processing. In the late ’90s, digital cameras changed the economics of photography, making it easy to click, review and erase images. Then broadband replaced dial-up Internet service in homes, allowing people a faster online experience. The first mainstream social networks began to take off. MySpace popularized the profile pic, and by 2004, images tagged #selfie began to appear on Flickr.

In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone; for the first time, we began carrying cameras around in our pockets. Pictures were easily snapped and shared, either privately by text message and email, or by uploading them to social networks. Then in 2010, in an effort to support video chatting services like Skype and Apple’s own Facetime, Apple released a new version of the iPhone 4 with a front-facing camera. Apple’s users began snapping photos of themselves.
2007年,史蒂夫•乔布斯推出iPhone。有史以来,我们第一次可以把照相机放在我们的口袋里。照片的拍摄和分享变得容易无比,你既可以通过短消息和电子邮件指定发给某个人,也可以把它上传到社交网络。到了2010年,就在Skype和苹果的Facetime开始支持视频聊天服务的同时,苹果发布了带前置摄像头的iPhone 4,苹果的用户们开始拍摄自己的照片。

To understand why, consider how these tools have changed the nature of the photograph itself. They’ve created an abundance of images. Five years ago, we shared somewhere close to 50 million photos daily, mostly on Facebook, according to Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report. Today, we share 1.8 billion photos daily. As I recently wrote in the opening to my series of the Future of the Image, photos have taken on a disposable quality. Much like written language, they are pieced together and used to communicate.
要想明白为什么,大家不妨想想这些工具是如何改变照相本身的。它们创造了海量相片。根据玛丽•米克的《2014互联网趋势报告》,5年前,我们每天在网络上分享的照片大约在5000万张左右,其中大部分照片被上传到Facebook上。如今,我们每天分享的照片多达18亿张。就像我最近在为《财富》撰写的《图像的未来》(the Future of the Image)系列文章中所说的那样,照片已经具有了“用完即弃”的特点。就像书写语言一样,它们被拼凑起来,成了交流的工具。

The modern selfie is the perfect vehicle for a message—facial expression, after all, is the most critical element to verbal communication. In December, for example, when the small plane carrying Ferdinand Puentes and eight others crashed into the sea off the coast of Hawaii, Puentes flipped on his GoPro camera, and as he bobbed in the water, captured a photo of himself as the tail of the plane rose out of the sea above his right shoulder. Terror screamed across his eyebrows, his photo announcing, “I was here, and this is how it felt.”

Another boon for the selfie explosion: In the past year, an emerging group of apps have offered more temporary vehicles for photo-sharing. The most popular is Snapchat, the disappearing photo app that lets its users—mostly teens—send photos to each other, setting a timer for them so that they (ostensibly) disappear in less than ten seconds. Snapchat users, who are mostly teens, currently upload more than 700 million photos to the service each day.

To be sure, the word itself is a bit of a fad. Like high-rise jeans and shoulder pads, this early form of the genre—camera positioned 45 degrees above our heads, pouty lips, the hint of an outstretched arm in the foreground—may look as dated to our future selves as the tools we use to take and share them. Cameras will creep into glasses, watches, cars, and just about everything else you can imagine. Snapchat and Instagram may give way to Whatsapp and Wechat. But the act of capturing ourselves visually as a way to communicate will only grow. “It would not be wrong to speak of people having a compulsion to photograph: to turn experience itself into a way of seeing,” wrote the critic Susan Sontag in her seminal 1977 work, On Photography, adding, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Everything, and also, everyone.
当然,这个词自身或许只是一时的狂热。再过几年往回看,如今很流行的斜上45度角、嘟嘴剪刀手之类的自拍造型,可能跟我们看高腰裤、垫肩这种东西一样觉得过时了——当然也包括那些我们用来拍照和分享照片的工具。摄像头会被安装到眼镜、手表、汽车甚至是任何你能想象得到的东西里。Snapchat和Instagram可能会被Whatsapp和微信(Wechat)取代。但是捕捉自己的影像作为沟通方式的做法还会延续下去。评论人苏珊•桑塔格在她1977年的作品《论摄影》(On Photography)中写道:“人们有照相的冲动没什么错,因为可以把经历变成一种视觉。今天所有东西的存在,都是为了被装进照片里。”既是所有东西,也包括所有人。(财富中文网)



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