The English language is delicious to the ears. The way the letters perfectly flow together, the breakage of each syllable against the tongue, the enunciation of each sound made by the mouth. It’s such a beautiful miracle.
And we have completely crushed this beauty by pronouncing the word of the year of 2013 to be “selfie.” Out of the hundreds of thousands of words, Oxford Dictionary could have chosen, they chose “selfie?” That’s just plain embarrassing. What does this say about our generation? About our livelihood? That we’re all just self-absorbed, image-obsessed social media addicts? Well, maybe we are.
Selfie: noun, informal a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
The word “selfie” certainly meets the criteria for having “cultural significance” and does reflect 2013. The choice of the word just made me realize how much society cares about appearance. I mean, is there really a point of posting pictures of yourself making a duck face or posing half-naked? People are just putting themselves at risk by hash-tagging it and allowing random strangers to look at those pictures, especially teens. (There are 57 million pictures with the #selfie on Instagram alone!)
“Selfie” was born in 2012, and Oxford made it an official word of the English language just this August. Appearances of this word increased 17,000% this year. That is ridiculous! We are so obsessed with self-image that it is an acceptable part of our culture now. I think that the word is a pretty accurate depiction of the 2013 culture. I’m just left wondering where our culture has gone.
Then again, the word of the year for 2012 was “GIF,” and in 2011 it was “squeezed middle”. Hmm, maybe “selfie” is a step up.