Oxford Dictionary names ‘selfie’ Word of the Year


Photo by Ariel Van Patten

Seniors Hannah Oelke and Jennifer Sutherland


2013 brought the world a new prince and a new pope but the year also brought the rise of the ‘selfie’. While the term’s first use on the Internet can be traced all the way back to 2002, it was the help of Instagram, Twitter, and #selfiesunday that shot the selfie to fame this year.

In fact, the Oxford Dictionary named ‘selfie’ the Word of the Year for 2013.

“What has the world come to? They’re putting words made up by teenagers into the dictionary,” said junior Justin Utz. “It’s not important to history. People took thousands of years to put words into the dictionary and then they have the audacity to go and put selfie in there and adulterate the dictionary.”

The popularity of the selfie is undeniable. Selfies became a hit among pop culture icons like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Miley Cyrus.

“Selfies are only popular because teenagers are so susceptible to change,” continued Utz. “They’ll flow with whatever current trends are popular at the moment.”

Even world leaders like Pope Francis and British Prime Minister David Cameron jumped on the selfie bandwagon. Although, selfie buzz isn’t always positive. In December, President Obama made headlines and received a considerable amount of backlash not for taking a selfie, but rather where he chose to take it.

“Obama took a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral,” said senior Rebekah Craft. “Selfies are supposed to be funny and that’s not funny it’s disrespectful. The funeral selfie trend is stupid.”

With nearly 70 million selfies currently tagged on Instagram, two students from Brigham Young University have made it their mission to regulate the selfie craze and raise money for charity. For every selfie plastered on the Internet, the self professed “Selfie Police” fine the accuser $1 and donate the proceeds to Vittana, a non-profit organization that helps students in impoverished countries go to college.

While paying up is optional, the duo hopes to turn a generation of selfishness into selflessness and accomplished this when they raised over $1,000 in the first two days.

“I don’t like selfies, but I would take them for charity,” said junior Cristina Gilstrap. “And to a certain extent we do need selfies because you do need them for profile pictures. In school we study different portraits from history and years from now kids are going to be learning about our selfies.”