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Rise of the selfie.

Lezima Gomes


POPE Francis has done it, Barack Obama has done it, Justin Bieber has done it, even Meryl Streep and chances are that you yourself have done it. The selfie has become quite a rage.

If you don't know what a selfie is, then you are officially out of touch with the English language. The Oxford Dictionary has proclaimed it the word of the year for 2013. The dictionary defines a selfie as oea photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam, and uploaded to a social media website. Ci A selfie could also describe our obsession with the social media and how we constantly feel the need to put ourself and our state of mind in the virtual space. The selfie is an act of self-promotion, typical of narcissism, if one might say, of the current generation. Image consultant Elisabete Reis says oeWe all want people to say nice things about us.

Sometimes it is just a way to show the world how much fun we are having, or what we are doing, or the places we are visiting. It's all about attention to ME. Ci How it started The term oeselfie Ci was discussed by photographer Jim Krause in 2005.

In the early 2000's, before Facebook became the dominant online social network, self-taken photographs were particularly common on MySpace. By 2012, the selfie became the buzzword online as people excitedly posted selfshots on their social networking profiles.

Initially, the selfie was popular with young people, but now it has become a universal phenomenon.

In December 2012, Time magazine noted that selfie was among its oetop 10 buzzwords Ci of 2012. According to a 2013 survey, two-thirds of Australian women aged between 18-35 take selfies, the most common purpose for which is posting on Facebook. A poll commissioned by smartphone and camera maker Samsung found that selfies make up 30% of the photos taken by people aged 18 "24.

By August 2013, Oxford Dictionaries gave it a place in the respected dictionary, adjudging it as a real English language word. Views on the selfie generation The selfie signifies the constant upgrading of technology and today's generation that thrives on the Internet and technology. We live in a digital world, which connects us with the outside world at the click of a button. Smartphones, along with social media, have given youngsters a platform to express themselves.

Mellissa Gomes a guidance counsellor at a leading school in Doha says, oeThe selfie generation is the generation that literally lives off Facebook and Twitter and they upload selfies often to seek approval and gain compliments on their appearance. Ci Melissa adds, oeIt is definitely about attention-seeking, also a kind of an ego boost, depending on the number of likes and comments you get.

But at the same time, if you fail to garner enough o[umlaut]likes', it comes as a blow to the self esteem. Ci The selfie's view As self-absorbed as this generation may be, a selfie may not always be bad.

Manu says, oeI click selfies because I love myself and want to love myself even more by seeing myself grow beautiful day after day... I take a selfie every time I touch my cell phone. Ci Nawazish, who is yet another avid selfie uploader says, oeI take selfies a lot, but I don't always post all of them. If I'm feeling particularly pretty one day, then I will take tons of selfies and post my favourite ones online. I don't think everyone takes selfies out of vanity.

Some people just really like the way they look on a day or in a certain light. I think selfies are fun! Sefra says, oeWhen I am wearing something new that is when I click a selfie. The comments and likes I get do boost my confidence and at the same time make my day. Ci oeA selfie does capture our private and public moments that would otherwise get lost in time. When I travel to a new place that is when I usually upload the most selfies. Who does not like to show off where all they have been travelling? Ci Nitin adds.

Nawazish also said, oeI also take selfies because it's not always that another person is around to take a picture of you.

It's sometimes even better for you to take a picture of yourself by yourself. Ci Kimberly says, oeWhy bother someone to take a picture of you. No one has the time any more. A selfie is the most convenient way and I like to share my pictures with my friends. Ci All said and done, the selfie helps us connect. It encourages us to share experiences in an instant, without any lengthy dialogues. The selfie is here to stay.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jan 14, 2014
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