Selfie: The word of 2013
Dr. Lalit Kishore | 30 Dec 2013

Terming 'selfie' as 'the word of the year 2013', Times of India stated that it has been included in the Oxford dictionary as a new word. Since, it was a statement; I thought of doing net-search and produce a brief on the word that has come in vogue.

The dictionary meaning of the new word selfie is 'self portrait taken by a hand-held digital camera and sharing it online or in social media'. The word became all the more popular when newspapers reported US President Barack Obama taking a group selfie during Nelson Mandela’s funeral service. Even Pope Francis occasionally indulges into a selfie.

This year 'selfie' word was found worthy of inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary. In November 2013, the word 'selfie' was announced as being the "word of the year" by the Oxford English Dictionary, which gave the word itself an Australian origin. The Australian origin of selfie has been supported by the researcher Charissa Coulthard.

For a selfie, self-portrait is taken in a slightly tilted manner and a few people think that the word could have its origin from the Korean word 'selca' which stands for 'self camera' or the photos taken of oneself by oneself typically taken either with a camera held at arm's length or in a mirror.

Selfies have become popular on the social media since they can be taken independently and are ready for instant share.  The Selfies that involve multiple people are known as 'group selfies'. In the year 2013, in the western world, with a large number people indulging into selfie exposure, medical science started seeing it as a pathological condition called selfieism.

According to space scientist Elizabeth Howell, selfies by space crafts, space telescopes and astronauts have been used for research work. The inset quote describes selfie addiction as a syndrome.