Word of the Year: #Selfie

The Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013 is #Selfie, and I feel it was chosen well. Selfie began as a word only the in-crowd was using, became a ubiquitous term every NPR listener knew, and now it has been crowned King of Words for 2013.

Selfie at Starbucks #Selfie Sarah Auerswald

The Oxford Dictionary has a blog, of course, and had this to say about their unanimous decision this year:

“It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the Internet. If it is good enough for the Obamas or The Pope, then it is good enough for Word of the Year.”

People have a lot to say about #Selfie on Twitter, according to Hashtracking:

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Anyone who’s taken a Selfie knows that it was born out of the desire for a photo when no one else was around, or possibly from an abundance of shyness when it comes to asking a stranger to take your picture.

Of course there are limitations – the camera person’s arms can be too short, and I find the lens is much less sharp than the regular camera on my phone. And you risk dropping your phone while holding it out there. Or maybe that’s just me…

Some of the more famous, or infamous, Selfies by celebrities include Geraldo Rivera, Justin Bieber and of course, President Obama.

Check out this BuzzFeed list of celebrity Selfies and you’ll see that apparently the Mona Lisa is a hot spot for taking photos of yourself, if you’re famous, and that even famous people like to take pictures with famous people they admire – see Hillary and Meryl.

Many Selfies are inappropriate and NSFW, which of course led to the creation of SnapChat, the app created by the Venice-based StartUp that makes the photos disappear moments after they are taken.

Here’s a plea from someone who has NO interest in seeing anyone’s inappropriate Selfies: please download SnapChat. #NotSponsored #JustDontWantToSeeIt

Think about it – if SnapChat had been invented just a little bit earlier, Anthony Weiner would probably still have a job.

I have a friend who has perfected the angle to get the best Selfies she can, and I will admit I love seeing a teeny bit of celebrities’ real lives in the margins of their Selfies. I am also particularly fond of specially-themed #Selfies, like this Holiday #Elfie by @Tiawrayxo:

#Elfie #Selfie

But Selfies are anathema to some people, and my friend, MommyNaniBooBoo Blogger Jenni Chiu, created the Hashtag #30DaysNoSelfies, hoping to spark a movement. And fewer Selfies.

Sadly for Jenni, I feel Selfies are here to stay. 24/7, it’s one hashtag that we can’t seem to get enough of.

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About Ciaran Blumenfeld

Ciaran Blumenfeld is a serial entrepreneur with a pedigree in marketing & advertising. She's one of the original co-founders of Hashtracking. She enjoys a strong, engaged personal social media presence with footholds in the parenting, lifestyle and travel markets. As a marketer Ciaran can be found overseeing multi-platform digital campaigns from strategy to execution. This is when her geek side shows.

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