On November 19, Oxford University named selfie the word of the year for 2013. A word that was recently developed from people taking pictures of themselves (or with others) and posting/sending it to others typically with a smartphone or webcam. The only ‘requirement’ is that the person taking the photo is in the photo and then upload it on a social media platforms for it to be considered a selfie, according to oxforddictionaries.com. Selfie as made it in the dictionary in August 2013. It was first used in 2002 by an Australian and scene as a hashtag, #selfie, in 2004 by a post on flickr. Since then it has flourished to the well known word it is today .
Today it is a vocabulary word that is used in every day language of most of the millennial generation. It was developed by them, by us. The people from past generations do not use the world selfie as often in their daily vocabulary or they may not even post ‘selfies’ of themselves and hashtag selfie. According to mediabistro.com, only 29% of people over 65 have taken a selfie before and 75% of people ages 18-24 have taken a selfie. It is a word that represents and is a part of my generation.
Over 35 million selfies have been posted on Instagram. Each 35 million selfies are helping to create and capture a piece of someone’s self. Capturing a moment that we don’t want to become disposable. We are creating a truth for ourselves and about ourselves. Each selfie that is taken and posted creates a story of our lives a picture at a time. It demonstrates how creating a composite of ourselves is a way of showing who we are and what we are about, from the clothes we wear to whether we are smiling and the atmosphere we are in.
Looking through someone’s Instagram, on someone who post every sunday a selfie of themselves for #selfiesunday. You see over the past year how she has changed each sunday. From having long hair to short, to dark brown hair to adding highlights, to some days with heavy makeup to some days without. It’s a transgression of who she was and who she has become.
I even take selfies. I take them because I want to capture the moment. Usually, it is a moment I feel I look pretty, or is a moment with friends I want to capture and save and share forever with everyone. It’s an invention where I feel I am able to demonstrate who I am in a creative fashion. I show the world a little bit of who I am and create an image for myself.
Selfie has taken the world by storm. There was even app created for the use of selfies. The app Snapchat was created to send selfies of yourself to other people for a short amount of time. It is a new version of texting via pictures. Once the person views the photo you send it, it can never be viewed again. There is even a day, selfie-sunday where people post selfies on sunday of themselves doing whatever they are doing. This manly shows up on instagrams. People’s profile pictures on Facebook are generally selfies they took of themselves with the caption of ‘bored’.
Selfie is a revolutionary word, and a way my generation creates a self from collective images that they take of themselves. It’s a collection of demonstrating who you are and showing it to the world in a new inventive way. It makes one wonder, how the next generation will make a presence for themselves and create self’s of their own.