Sunday, April 20, 2014
I'm sorry. The sunglasses? Ouch. #myfavoriteselfie
Yesterday, the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary declared that 'selfie' was the word of the year. In our currently social media-obsessed society, this choice seemed both appropriate and sad to me. Then I thought about it for a little while and soon the choice didn't feel so sad anymore. I mean, it could have been 'twerk.' How depressing would that have been? If only for the fact that I'm quite sure I couldn't twerk to save my life. A selfie I can manage. Albeit rarely. I don't want to seem like I'm a narcissist or anything.
Look at me! I have books. I'm an intellectual. Love me.
Oxford officially defines 'selfie' as "(n.) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website." The publisher defended its decision by explaining that the use of the word 'selfie' has increased 17,000% in the last 12 months and has become a cultural phenomenon. Oxford traced the word's origin back to 2002, when an Australian first used the term to describe his or her photo of a drunken lip injury. (TIME)
I need to work on a drunken lip injury selfie. I don't have one of those in my in my tiny collection. If there's anyone out there who'd like to get me drunk and punch me in the mouth — I can't imagine why — shoot me a message. We'll get something scheduled. Help a guy out.
Moving on ...
You can tell a photo is a selfie when:
The person's arm is outstretched, holding his or her phone up to snap the picture.
The person typically looks awkward, yet is super-confident that the world urgently needs to see their gorgeous visage. The Facebook post or tweet that contains a link to the glorious photo usually includes the word, or better yet hash tag, #selfie. Just in case you weren't sure what you were looking at.
Look at me! I'm sad. And, very artsy. Love me.
While selfies have become an integral source of social media content, I'm still confused as to why people feel the need to post them so frequently. It just seems so silly and self-centered. Completely unnecessary and terribly vain. I'm very conservative with my selfie sharing. I reserve them only for times when I feel like the social media universe really could benefit from seeing my mug. You know, it's like I'm doing you all a rare favor. I'm typically very shy.
Look at me! I'm tough. And, casually hot. Love me.
And, I'm also kind of making myself sick right now. Sick with the realization of how often I share these self-absorbed portraits that scream, "LOVE ME!" I'm so ashamed.
OK, I'm over it now.
Anyway, in honor of the Oxford Dictionaries designation, I thought I would ask you all to show me, and the world, your favorite selfie. It can be of yourself or someone else. It doesn't matter who, just make it the one that brings you the most joy. Or makes you the most nauseous. Either works. Post it to Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, or Tumblr, or wherever. Just use the hash tag #myfavoriteselfie so we can all join in the fun.
Look at me! I'm dark and mysterious. And, heavily Photoshopped. Love me.
Thank you in advance. I can't wait to see what you've got.
Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.
Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).
Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg
His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).