Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2013 Word of the Year : Selfie

Something finally moved twerk off the top of the buzzword list.  Thank God.  The problem is the conquering hero is selfie, the smartphone self portrait, recently named by Oxford Dictionaries as the Word of the Year for 2013.  

Selfie's vocab victory isn't all that surprising considering the year began with Dr. Keith Ablow calling out millenials for being a "generation of deluded narcissists."  Dr. Ablow credited this self absorption, in large part, to social media:
     On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of "friends."  They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), "speak" in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they "like."
     Using Twitter, young people can pretend they are worth "following," as though they have real-life fans, when all that is really happening is the mutual fanning of false love and false fame."
This inflated self-esteem slapdown was quickly countered with articles such as this one (which received one of my all-time favorite comments: "I am NOT narcissistic.  In fact, I would say that I am the last narcissistic person I know.  If everyone were as altruistic and humble as me, the world would be a much better place with much better people.  Don't believe me?  Check my Instagram.  I only post pics of my feet like once a week."]

Social media does enable all of us - my generation and before all the way to the millenials - to do what comes naturally:  be self-absorbed, self-centered twits.  We may need to make Romans 12:3 our Memory Verse of the Year for 2014:
For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

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