“Selfie” has been named Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2013, according to a recent announcement by the publisher.
The venerable dictionary defines the very modern noun as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” and says it has been in use since 2002.
While it has been around for over a decade, Oxford says “selfie” is the Word of 2013 because of its rapid adoption by the mainstream this year. Over the last 12 months, its use in major media sources jumped more than six-fold, reflecting a similarly wide embrace by the public.
The moral lessons of selfies may be difficult to discern, but the technological implications are pretty clear. As The New Yorkerpoints out in its coverage of the announcement, the jump in self-photography maps directly to the inclusion of cameras in mobile phones.
For brands, the rise of the selfie is a good reminder that we now live in a mobile world where consumers use their cameras for all sorts of reasons, and often for no reason at all.
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