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“Selfie” makes word of the year

Toy pirateSelfie has been named the word of the year, beating words like twerk and twerking. Editors of Oxford Dictionaries, who should know about such things, said the word evolved from being just a hash-tag to a mainstream term.

It has yet to be added to the dictionary – though it is being considered for future editions. With any luck, this defeat will be the last we hear of twerking.

What is the selfie all about?

Firstly, in case you don’t know what it is (unlikely I know), a selfie is defined by the urban dictionary as a picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded onto a social networking site.

First Facebook

Facebook, Instagram and more recently, Snapchat have all helped to boost the frequency of photographing ourselves doing whatever we’re doing.

Network

One theory is that the selfie helps us stay connected. For years people have talked about online communications and how you can easily misinterpret emails and comments.

This brought the rise of emoticons for clarity. Is sending an image of yourself not just the next step? Although some people can go over the top it has to be said.

Keeping in touch

While our lives get busier it’s nice to be able stay in touch with friends and family more easily. Online interaction can’t replace seeing someone in person, but it can definitely help us feel less lonely or isolated.

Looking perfect

Having said that, it’s good to be aware that what people put online is often an edited or ‘best’ version of themselves. We’re all guilty of it. Who doesn’t want to look their best in a photo? Why would yo share a photo of yourself you didn’t like?

But we should be mindful not to compare ourselves with the lives we think other people are leading. Everyone has their stuff to deal with, and just because it’s not obvious doesn’t mean they’re not going through something.

Seeing through an image

It’s important to try not to let pictures and videos affect our body image and self-esteem. Supposedly many people take over seven selfies before they post it, and those are just the amateurs.

We’re all turning into photographers and video makers now, so why don’t we also learn how to interpret the work of others? 

 

 

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