Did you hear the news? Selfie has been named the international Word of the Year 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries in both the the UK and US. The noun defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” has definitely earned the distinction over other buzz words, such as twerk, bitcoin and showrooming.
Over the last year, the phenomenon has captured not just social media, but the mainstream. Almost every celebrity posts a selfie on their social media account. Even First Lady Michelle Obama has participated and Pope Francis has joined the fun. There’s also going to be a selfie.com that joins the likes of the hysterical tumblr dedicated to ridiculous selfies. Further more, there’s a film series from The Guardian entitled Thinkfluencer, which takes a look into the trend over in the UK. There’s no doubt about it. Selfie was an obvious for ‘word of the year’.
So, in honor of selfies’ continuing dominance in the world, here are 13 facts that you should know about 2013’s word of the year.
13. Selfie was officially added to OxfordDictinaries.com in August 2013.
12. The first time that #selfie was used was in 2004 on Flickr.
11. The word selfie in the English language has skyrocketed in use. It has increased by 17,000% since 2012.
10. As of October 2013, Miley Cyrus is the celebrity with the most amount of posted selfies on Twitter with 121. Tyra Banks is second with 62.
9. Kylie Jenner, one of the young Kardashians, has posted 451 selfies on Instagram. Snoop Dogg is a distant second with 271.
8. Time magazine included the word selfie in its “top 10 buzzwords” of 2012.
7. During Myspace’s heyday (around 2006-09) self-portraits, known as Myspace pics, were common. These were usually poor quality images in front of a bathroom mirror. The switch to Facebook created a decline in amateur self-portraits, but the release of the iPhone 4 and its front facing camera lead to a resurgence of the self portrait in 2010-11.
6. Samsung discovered that selfies make up 30% of the photos taken by people between the ages of 18–24.
5. There are 35 million posts containing#selfie among the 150 million Instagram users.
4. Designer/photographer Jim Krause claims to have coined the term selfie sometime in 2005.
3. People have taken self-portraits since the 1880s, when camera shutters with self-timers were first available. This increased in 1900 with the debut of the portable Kodak Brownie box.
2. Selfies are most popular in Australia, followed by the U.S. and Canada. In fact, a 2013 survey found that two-thirds of Australian women between the age 18-35 take selfies.
1. According to research, the word selfie first appeared in September 13, 2002 on the ABC online forum in Australia.
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”
Whether you wanted to know or not, there are the 13 things that you should know about selfies. Maybe next time you participate in the phenomenon you’ll be a bit more enlightened. Then again, you may be too focused on your hairstyle during that all important funeral selfie.
Do you snap selfies? If so, where do you post your photos? And, do you think that selfie should have been the 2013 ‘word of the year’?
Featured Image Credit: Nari Sin/Flickr
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!