Thanks to technology, people are falling in love with themselves, claims an old-timer

AD: Hi, what’s the Oxford English Dictionary doing on your desk?

BC: I’m planning to give it away...

AD: Why, did you buy the latest version?

BC: No, I’m shattered that they’ve begun introducing strange words into their dictionary...

AD: Like what?

BC: Like selfie — sounds like it’s short for selfish.

AD: It’s the term used to describe people taking pictures of themselves...

BC:...and posting them online. You don’t have to explain.

AD: Of course! Both social media and the print media are full of articles, pictures and descriptions of what the word means and how it is becoming so popular.

BC: But imagine Oxford English Dictionary recognising it as an…

AD: Look, you can’t argue with success, can you? It has been crowned the most popular word of 2013. And for your information, it has not been included in the Oxford English Dictionary — it is part of Oxford Dictionary Online.

BC: Interesting, but why would people want to keep shooting photos of themselves and post them online?

AD: Look, when they posted their holiday photos, you had a problem with it. When they posted photos of their pets, you cribbed. And according to you, they can’t post photos of their kids winning the lemon-and-spoon race, of their breakfast or a view of the sky from their window. So that leaves them with no option, but to post their own photos...

BC: But why this compulsive need to click themselves? I find it strange that even celebrities indulge in it… On one hand, they fight with photographers and complain about invasion of their privacy, on the other, they keep clicking photos of themselves and uploading them on...

AD: It’s just a fad, and like any other wave, this will rage on and fade out once the next big thing comes up...

BC: That’s the problem with technology. See what it has reduced all of us to — we’re becoming so full of ourselves.

AD: Wait, don’t tell me selfies began with Facebook and Instagram...

BC: Reports have it that over 90 million images uploaded on Instagram each month are selfies, with the hashtag #me.

AD: Go back to the era of instant photo booths and polaroids… Remember how teenagers rushed to those tiny cubicles and had their pictures shot?

BC: At least they didn’t show it off to the world...

AD: Pity they didn’t have social media back then… And what about the era before that? Everyone wanted their portraits hanging on the wall to show off that...

BC: That wasn’t a selfie — it was an artist painting them...

AD: Isn’t that still indulgence? Portraits came at a cost, but thanks to technology, taking a digital photo and uploading it on a social networking site are both free of cost...

BC: But I still don’t get it — how could a word like ‘selfie’ be declared the word of the year?

AD: Look, Oxford Dictionary chose it simply because of its popularity — they didn’t come up with the word, for heaven’s sake. Besides, would you rather have ‘twerk’ as the word of the year? Apparently, it was one of the words being considered for the title — and with Miley Cyrus making it popular...

BC: I could do without such trivia, but it makes me wonder what Narcissus would have done with a digital camera.

AD: He’s the guy who fell in love with his own reflection, right? What about him?

BC: Would he have clicked selfies of himself looking at his reflection?

(sureshl.india@gmail.com)

RELATED NEWS

Honey, I blew up the mobileDecember 11, 2013

The skim scamDecember 25, 2013

Shootout at Gangstar VegasJanuary 8, 2014

The technopathic cureJanuary 22, 2014

Putting the social into social mediaNovember 13, 2013

Whatsapp guys?October 30, 2013

I’m quitting, here’s my videoOctober 16, 2013