In a year when the word literal’s definition was amended to be both literal and un-literal, Oxford Dictionary has crowned the word of the year, ‘selfie’. The word meaning “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”, refers to an action that has increased a massive 17,000% in the last 12 months. What this figure means is anyone’s guess, but it’s an action I have never taken and surely never will. Is “selfie” shorthand for self-centred, self-interested, selfish? Selfie reflects millennial attitudes and they are now used to being in the center of what they see, use and talk about.

Visionary of vacuous? Sometimes called ‘Team Me’ – people who demonstrably act in their own interests and who want brands to understand who they are and what they want, here and now. Consumer is Boss and the ‘selfie’ the most visual manifestation of this idea.

Perhaps a good course in dishwashing would bridge self-ethic and work ethic. Here is a two year old on the job at the sink, and here is the world’s reputed fastest dishwasher. Too busy for selfies!

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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