I have a 12 year old daughter who spends most of the time on her phone either texting her friends or taking “selfies“. Granted, when I grew up, cell phones didn’t exist and there were only three channels on TV (I remember how excited I was when Fox became a network). Even still, the notion of sitting around taking pictures of yourself is very foreign and rather self serving to me.

With that said, “selfies” seem to be the hottest thing since sliced bread.

The word “selfie” seems to have been used as early as 2003, but it’s only in the last 12 months that the word has taken on “rock star” status. In fact, Oxford Dictionary named the word “selfie” the 2013 word of the year. “Selfie” beat out seven competitors, including “twerk,” “schmeat” (synthetically produced meat) and “bitcoin” for the Word of the Year crown.

Oxford’s editors say use of the word has gone up a staggering 17,000% in the past year, Reuters reports. There are 57 million photos bearing its hashtag — #selfie — on Instagram alone. And it’s not just tweens and teenagers who are taking pictures of themselves. Celebrities are enjoying this new medium as well. In the past few months alone, what appear to be “selfies” of Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Aniston have all shown up online. Even Prince William got in on the craze and recently posed for a “selfie” with a 12 year old girl waiting to see the royal family at a Christmas day church service.

There is even an Instagram user account called “selfie. And, yes, it contains nothing but “selfies”. There is also the “helfie” — a photo of one’s own hair; “belfie” — a snapshot of one’s butt; and “welfie” — a selfie taken while working out. Finally, there’s also the “drelfie” — a photo of yourself when you’re drunk.

And, here is the latest. Justin Bieber has created a new Social Network called “Shots of Me” which is a dedicated social network specifically for self portraits. After downloading an app, one can upload photos of oneself, but in an effort to create only a “positive experience”, no comments are allowed. 

I downloaded the app and took a look for myself. There were the usual suspects:

I’m not sure where the revenue stream lies, but once millions of tweens come flocking, I’m sure the business will reveal itself.

So, where are we left? Is this just a fad? A bunch of self obsessed kids who don’t seem to have anything else to do but take pictures of themselves? I don’t have the answer.  I do know this; you put great technology in the hands of young adults and you are going to get the bad with the good. After all, these just might be the next budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,


Cindy Frei


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