Each year the Oxford English Dictionary adds new words; in the past decade, most of the new words have been related to technology. This year, the newest additions are words like “geekery” and “tweet.” In previous new word installments, new additions have included “cybercasting,” “cut-and-paste,” techno-junkie,” and “podcast.” Over the next few years, there will be one new technology-related word that the Oxford English Dictionary editors will be watching: selfies.
What the Heck are Selfies?
If you have never heard of a “selfie,” you are not alone. This is a word that truly belongs to the generation that is lovingly called the Millennials or Generation Y. This is the generation that includes people born between 1980 and 2000.
This is also the generation that does not know a world without computers, cable television, and mobile phones. This generation is also known as the most narcissistic generation ever to have existed on the planet; this is the generation that brought the “selfie” to life.The selfie is such a popular form of art for Millennials that the engineers at Apple put camera lenses on both sides of the iPhone 4 mobile phone so Millennials could have an easier time taking pictures of themselves.
Millennials and Narcissism
Selfies have appeared on practically every form of social media since the first mobile phone had a camera. Many Millennials will post image after image of themselves day after day after day.
The constant use of the selfie has perplexed people in the older generations. While Baby Boomers always thought that Generation X was selfish and narcissistic, the rise of the selfie in the Millennial generation has the Boomers shifting gears.
One of the most popular “selfies” in the last few weeks was the one taken by Hilary Clinton and her Millennial daughter, Chelsea. In most cases, when a Boomer or a Gen Xer ends up in a selfie, it is with a younger, Millennial.
The Fascination with the Self
Why the fascination with the selfie? Many Millennials use their selfies for apps like SnapChat where the users message pictures to each other while they chat. Millennials like to post their selfies because their friends will tell them how great they look, whether or not the encouragement is good.
And, if you are a narcissistic person, hearing how great you look only feeds on your narcissism. It’s like a case of the rich getting richer – the self-absorbed become more self-absorbed.In fact, 30 per cent of the photos that this group take are selfies.
The sad part is that most people find selfies of other people to be extremely boring. They all tend to look exactly the same – pouting lips, a casually held camera, and an awkward stance. Many Millennials think that by placing innumerable selfies on their social media sites, they will be discovered and become the next Internet sensation like Justin Bieber.
Featured Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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