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7 gifts for the selfie addict on your list
Buy your friends something they’ll actually use.
There is perhaps no photographic style quite as contentious as the selfie. Some people think they are simply egotistical ways of capturing and sharing your life across social media, while others think selfies can be an empowering way of expressing oneself.
Whether it’s egocentric or not, selfies are a mainstay of self-expression, and for people who regularly take and share them, selfies are a part of their social media life taken very seriously. (I would know, as I’m one of those people who takes 20 selfies before sharing the best one, and wind up with a camera full of selfie rolls.)
With the holidays just around the corner, you might be looking for the perfect gift for someone in your life who likes to post their face—with friends, alone in the bathroom, or at football games—to the Internet on a regular basis. And retailers are catching on. Beyond t-shirts with phrases like “let me take a #selfie” that are line the racks at major retailers, and an entire section of selfie gift ideas among Etsy’s holiday shopping suggestions, there are a handful of things you can get for your selfie-loving friend that he or she might actually appreciate.
1. The Facetune App
Facetune, while a bit more expensive than what people are used to paying for apps (read: not free), it’s the best few bucks you’ve ever spent on someone who takes a lot of photos of people.
Facetune has a ton of features to subtly or drastically edit photos, including smoothing lines and covering up blemishes. It’s a little secret of many selfie takers—discreetly editing their snapshots before sharing them on Instagram—because even with 20 selfies in your camera roll, you may not have the perfect one.
2. Selfie stick
Don’t mock them until you try them! The Bluetooth-connected devices were a huge hit last year among selfie-lovers and casual tech users alike, and they haven’t gone out of style quite yet. There’s no better way to capture a group photo or action shot than with a selfie stick, and while it might look a bit weird, the photo will be worth it in the end.
You can find selfie sticks at your local big box retailer, and there are also a ton available on Amazon.
3. A smartphone built for selfies
When Apple rolled out the new iPhone 6S with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and “True Tone,” flash, the device became one of the best phones for taking selfies on the market. Apple’s flagship phone now matches the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6S, but Google’s Nexus 6P still comes out on top with the 8-megapixel selfie cam.
If gadgets are on your loved one’s list, and a powerful camera is crucial, you can’t go wrong with these devices.
4. LuMee case
Taking selfies in the dark can be difficult, even with front-facing flashes on the built-in cameras and apps like Snapchat. But there’s one high-tech phone case with a full compliment of LED lighting around the screen to illuminate faces in poorly-lit areas. LuMee lets you change the intensity of the lighting to create the optimal selfie illumination, and it comes in a variety of different colors for multiple iOS and Android devices.
5. Snapchat lifestyle accessories
The Snapchat beach towel is just one of the many Snapchat-related products you can buy this holiday season. On Etsy, one seller is offering a Snapchat throw pillow, and you can also score a ghost plushie on Amazon to sneak into a stocking.
These gifts are great both for the avid selfie taker who prefers self portraits that last just ten seconds before they disappear, and anyone who loves to share and send life updates with friends via the ephemeral messaging app. Plus, Snapchat accessories will make actual snaps that much more meta.
If budget isn’t an obstacle for you and your tech-savvy friend already has a smart home with a Philips Hue starter kit, a white and color ambiance bulb might be a nice addition to a bedroom, bathroom, living room lamp, or wherever your selfie-taking pal happens to snap the most photos. It’s controlled by a mobile app, so he or she can change the color and intensity of the LED light and create lighting settings to match the activity or mood without moving around the room.
We might have a smart home on par with The Jetsons quite yet, but at least we’ve got the tools to create the perfect selfie ambiance right from your smartphone.
There are plenty of ways to be tongue-in-cheek about selfie presents, but appreciating the beautiful face of a friend with a thoughtful and useful selfie-themed gift can be a nice way of showing them that you care.
Of course, the best gift you can give anyone who takes a selfie this holiday season is not making fun of them when they capture it. Because, let’s be honest, you know you’ll just be Liking it later.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.