Every time I log into social media nowadays I am greeted by the faces of my friends and public figures. They might be at an event, standing in front of an iconic landmark, eating something yummy, or showing off a new outfit or hair style. Increasingly these faces are being seen in selfie form. The Oxford Dictionary, which chose "selfie" as its word of the year in 2013, defines a selfie as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website". With the growing use of social media and recent technological developments it has never been easier to take a selfie and share it with anyone you want. In fact people are going to extreme lengths to take the "perfect selfie" by, for example, assembling large groups of people for one shot, photobombing celebrities or, more worryingly, putting themselves in dangerous situations! For the individual there are many reasons why they chose to take it. They may be in a cool location (I can happily admit to posting many selfies from in front of the Eiffel Tower). They may be with friends or family. They may just be feeling really good about the way they look that day! Whatever your opinion, it has recently become evident that the selfie craze can be used to do much good. It can be a great way to draw attention to serious issues as some people may be more likely to hear about something through an image popping up on their newsfeed rather than purposely seeking out a news story. Recently, various UK charities have raised large amounts of money after being advertised by celebrities posing in selfies whilst holding notices explaining how to donate to the charity. Similarly there has been a growing interest in people posting selfies to social media as a sort of advertisement for a charity. The idea is for people who post a selfie to donate a small amount of money to the charity and encourage their friends to do the same. The selfie may have a theme such as the recent 'no make-up selfie' idea which raised millions of pounds for cancer research charities in the UK. Even if they do not donate money to the charity, they are still raising awareness! Whether you're a fan or not, it is clear that the selfie is having a huge impact on how we communicate with the world today.
What do you think about selfies? Do you think the craze will last for a long time?