Forget chocolate. Selfies are society’s new guilty pleasure.
So what exactly is a selfie?
Oxford Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” for 2013 is 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.” More than 90 million selfies have been posted across social media channels since the word was first used in an Australian forum in 2002. Since then, selfies have become widely popular among social media users, including celebrities, political figures and athletes.
It didn’t take long for technology to adapt to the trend by creating front-facing cameras and smartphones to accommodate selfie photographers. It’s no surprise that Facebook, Twitter and especially Instagram are loaded with them and that Instagram’s most used hash tag is #me.
Don’t you think it’s all a little narcissistic?
Unleashing the #UNselfie
This week was the second annual Giving Tuesday.
A number of what users are calling #UNselfie photos were posted featuring people holding signs supporting charities and advocating self-sacrifice.
This day of giving was initially launched by New York’s 92nd Street Y , the United Foundation and the Case Foundation and has since rallied thousands of nonprofits to reach out to prospective donors and share the importance of giving. The hope behind the campaign is inspiring similar fervor to that of Black Friday sales, according to Forbes.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen people camp out for days in advance and line up for blocks just to help others.
An Instagram hashtag search on Giving Tuesday pulled up more than 60 million photos tagged #selfie, but less than 600 thousand photos were tagged with the top five commonly used hashtags about giving: #giving, #givingback, #givingtuesday, #unselfie and #givingbacktothecommunity.
It’s heart-warming to see the reaction to the movement dedicated to giving through #UNselfies over social media and I don’t want to discount the compassion behind anyone’s efforts to make a difference, but shouldn’t every day be a giving day?
Let’s face it; we’re all guilty of taking selfies and putting our wants above the needs of others at one time or another. Living in a #selfie culture makes it easy to forget that giving isn’t only something we should do during the holidays. Wouldn’t it be nice if we greeted every day with thanksgiving without a turkey dinner, gave without expecting anything in return and felt immense joy in the absence of a decorated tree or presents?
I challenge you to give this Christmas season, but to also continue giving long after the tree and lights are packed away. Do your part to make your life a walking #UNselfie. As many have said before, it’s much better to give than to receive.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we greeted every day with thanksgiving without a turkey dinner, gave without expecting anything in return and felt immense joy in the absence of a decorated tree or presents?