By Tinky Ningombam
The Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2013 is “selfie.” In what seems to be perhaps the most inevitable choice, “Selfies” are promoted to iconic limelight with the recent announcement. The Oxford Online Dictionary includes words that are used widely in our day to day lives. The words are apparently chosen by their research program that monitors online content and collects around 150 million words of English in use each month.
For people who are new to the word, a selfie is a term denoting “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” The announcement has triggered yet another spurge of selfies on the web with even the Mars Rover sending a selfie to earth from space.
For some, selfies still remain a narcissistic hobby, while others even run entire albums with selfies of whatever they do throughout the day. We have millions of people who are flooding Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as we speak.
I admit I take selfies too, just took one recently when I heard the announcement. The reason behind most of my selfies is that I do not trust most people to take a good picture of me. More so because I believe myself to be less photogenic and certainly have trouble with most of the pictures that people take of me. Serious trust issues there, a shrink might agree. The most important rule is that you need to avoid bad selfies. And just like a 90’s self-portrait picture that you wish you never hung up on your wall, selfies need to be well thought of before your 500 friends see it on your Social Media profile.
Getting a selfie is easy. Either you try a groupie or just capture yourself alone, just take a camera-phone, better with a self-facing camera and click your close up; it need not be your face, it can be your shoes, your food, your watch, your hat or your hat. That’s how you do it. Easy. But please don’t go overboard. A selfie every once in a while is seemingly ok but there’s no need to put up a documentary of how you look like every second of the day. And please, please, please no DUCKFACE.
The most popular selfies are listed below but not in any particular order:
1. I-have-a-pretty-face-close-up Selfie
2. I-am-eating-something-good Selfie
3. Post-gymming selfie or the look-at-my-muscles selfie
4. I-just-woke-up-from bed selfie
5. The pouting selfie or The duckface selfie
6. I-look-korean selfie
7. Looking-at-the-mirror selfie
8. Selfie with a hand sign
9. Sticking-my-tongue-out selfie ( as popularized by Miley Cyrus )
10. Fit-yourself-and-all-your-friends-in-the-screen selfie
The list goes on, what with more cellphones in the market and people getting more self-obsessed. Celebrities too have pushed up the popularity of selfies with famous stars in Hollywood clicking selfies of themselves and broadcasting them on their Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts. Recently Steve Martin and Tom Hanks just posted a selfie at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Fifth Annual Governors Awards in L.A. Also seen recently was the Pope with a selfie take by some Italian youngsters with him inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
I don’t hate selfies, irrespective of most people’s condemnation of them. I think capturing the best moments of your lives so easily at any given time through pictures is one of the good things that technology has enable us to do. But yes, wrong thing is to capture selfies at inappropriate times and in inappropriate circumstances. To make fun of people or to show off to trigger jealousy or annoying self- images that are just plain disturbing. And clearly, kids nowadays need to know the responsibility of posting cleverly and not sharing pictures without privacy settings or without knowing where their dimwitted selfies might land up.
Sometimes, people go to heights to go creative on Selfies. And there are a lot of times that funny and witty selfies are always a delight. I think what matters importantly is hoe you want to project yourself to your friends and your followers. As someone who wants to show off or pretend how cool they are or as someone who just wants to share a nice picture with their friends.