Alright America, let’s have a little talk.
The word of the year proclaimed by the Oxford English Dictionary has been given the honor to “selfie”. For those of you living under a rock, selfies are defined as “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
…REALLY GUYS? We couldn’t have thought of anything better? Other words that were highly considered were “twerk” or “schmeat” (synthetically made meat). Who decides to narrow down the list? Also, what does this show for our generation?
According to the CNN article that examines Oxford English Dictionary’s decision, the term was actually coined in Australia in 2002.
This was the 2002 post: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”
Of course the Australians would be the ones to coin the term. I myself have a few friends in Australia, and my liver is no match for them. They party harder, drink more often, and still are able to work and take lengthy 6 weeks vacations. Obviously, I was born in the wrong country. Thanks mom and dad.
Today: Selfies are a social phenomenon. Celebrities are doing it. We are doing it. We Facebook, Instagram, Tweet, or SnapChat our duck faces. I personally prefer the 2002 version. For those of you guilty of a “selfie”, let me explain the ritual. You make a self-portrait, probably with a silly or funny face to show how “adorable” and “low maintenance” you are. In ACTUALITY we know you probably just took 50 shots and picked your best side. No, I’m not fully judging you…just slightly. Socially media is constantly growing, and apps like SnapChat and Instagram let you have fun with photos while showing friends and family.
You want to keep connected? Go for it.
You want to make your friends and family laugh? All about it.
I’m judging the other part of it..the “girl with 5000 followers” on Instagram, the self-proclaimed model, who adds comments to her photos like “ugh feeling fat today” to get attention. No we know you’re not feeling fat. With that 6 pack, you obviously have not touched food in days. Obviously you would not put a bloated photo of yourself Ms. “I just spent 2 full hours in hair and makeup”. Why would anyone put a bloated photo of yourself up? Unless you recently won a food eating contest worthy of a trophy and a Takeru Kobayashi style shake, no one would put a bloated photo of themselves up. Our society is too self involved. Also, the whole point people are putting up selfies are in order to get comments and likes. If you TRULY felt awful about yourself, you wouldn’t want to show your worst, you would only want to put your best foot (or self) forward.
Here’s my Advice in the AM guys and gals…
In the internet, nothing can fully be deleted. Someday whether in the near or distant future, you will want to apply for jobs. And someday in that future, those companies will do a background check, which will look into both your professional and social media backgrounds. Do you want to be ruled out of a job because 2 years prior your chest was hanging out a little too much in a photo? Or, because your drunk “my ex will miss this” photo is on three different platforms, and it’s actually not as cute as you thought it would be? Social Media WILL come back to haunt you. Selfies can be funny if shared with your close-knit group of friends/family, and you’re doing it to be funny. If you’re putting on makeup/changing your outfit/making sure the angle is perfect to produce said selfie, you might want to reevaluate your time. Be careful of what you post, because there is a chance that the worst can always be dug up. I once went on a blind date, and GOOGLED the guy. It took me 3 google pages, but still I found his mug shot, and that was it for me. And YES, I google blind dates. I know I am not the only one. (That’s another story in itself for a later time).
In the end, make sure your selfies are just for fun. Don’t be that guy/girl that spends all this time and effort creating these, when you can be doing something so much more valuable with your time. Take it as a light hearted joke, bask in the ridiculousness, and laugh at your friends’ awkward selfie photos.
Selfie No List:
-No desperate captions antagonizing people to write comments (Example: “UGH I’m all broken out” (and in fact you are not))
-No shots that could be PG-13 or higher. Where’s the mystery people??
-No shots with exposed food in your mouth. That’s disgusting.
-Do not recreate any Kim Kardashian/Kanye West shots. EVER.
(Side Note:Unless you’re James Franco or Seth Rogen, then you have a “free pass”. Seriously guys, after watching their version of the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian “Bound 2” spoof, I think they are fully capable of pulling of anything and it being amazing.)