The “Selfie:” Our Choice of Expression by Alejandra Mendoza

In 2013, the word “selfie” became Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year. Yahoo has predicted that around 880 billion pictures will be taken through mobile platforms in 2014.

Although some believe that the trend is at its peak, it seems like everyone is still taking pictures. Scrolling down Instagram means feeling compelled to like your friend’s selfies, filter and all. Opening Snapchat means seeing ten seconds of funny faces with a short message.

Everywhere you look, someone is on their phone. More likely than not, if they’re in our age group, they have at least one app that serves as a platform for a selfie — whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.

“I just think they’re fun! I’m not really into the serious selfies. I just like taking silly pictures. It’s fun to send them to your friends,” said Stephanie Navarro, a junior at MLEC.

Our generation does not like being labeled as a narcissist one, or a self-centered and self-involved one, but for how many pictures of ourselves we have on our phone, we might just be.

Between the Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, and Generation Z, otherwise known as the iGeneration — which seems fitting for those always on their phones — “selfies” have abounded.

We seem to be able to communicate more with pictures than with words. But we also expect more from those that see them — we expect comments and likes and demand that our friends respond to our selfies with one in kind.

But we can’t take selfies too seriously, especially when everyone is taking them. From James Franco, who wrote “The Meanings of the Selfie” for the New York Times to the boy in the next seat, whose selfies during math class are meant for Snapchat – the “selfie” is our form of expression.

And we can’t be judged for that.

We might be the generation most into ourselves and the most concerned with our appearance, but we have a reason to be. According to GenertionY.com, we’re more ambitious, our confidence only propelling us forward.

But has the selfie gone too far?

The #SelfieOlympics, which has around 130,000 on Twitter, has proved that the selfie isn’t going away in 2014.

And it’s not like partaking in the #SelfieOlympics was easy, which is why the selfie has so much appeal: because it’s easy. The selfie is a click away, a facial expression that requires almost no effort.

So maybe, we like selfies because we can easily show the world how wonderful we are. Maybe we like them because we like ourselves. No matter what it is, they won’t go away anytime soon.

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