Keller @ Large: Togetherness In Action Tops ‘Selfie’

BOSTON (CBS) – In the category of “least surprising news item of the year,” the winner is the Oxford Dictionary’s choice of “selfie” – defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself… and uploaded to a social media website” – as the word of the year.

We all can and should be grateful that selfie beat out “twerk” for this honor.

But as a Bostonian, it seems like a curious choice.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Consider the criteria they use at the Oxford Dictionary to choose the word of the year. It’s not necessarily a new word, but one that reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and [will] have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”

Is that too much weight to put on the “selfie” as a cultural milestone?

Yes, Anthony Weiner and people who take selfies at funerals are troubling.

But the selfie concept was around when I was a teenager, except it was more about getting close to your date inside those little photo booths. And we didn’t publish the results.

Still, if the Oxford Dictionary editors felt the casual narcissism of the selfie captured the “ethos” of this year, who am I to argue?

But it didn’t feel that way living around here.

When I think back on this year in the future, I’m pretty sure I’ll remember the selflessness of those who dealt with the marathon day attacks and the community outpouring of support for their victims.

I’ll remember the 2013 Red Sox, who placed team over self.

And those are just the big stories of togetherness in action. You know the smaller ones from your own neighborhoods.

I bet by this time next year, we won’t even remember the word “selfie.”

Or maybe selfie culture will rule.

One or the other.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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