2013: The Year in Selfies

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 31 2013 12:07 PM | Updated as of Jan 06 2014 07:29 PM

2013: The Year in Selfies

The year 2013 saw the word "selfie" rising to the top of social media jargon’s lists, with almost anyone who owns a camera-equipped phone joining the bandwagon.

Selfie – a shorthand for a self-photograph that is usually uploaded to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – was declared by Oxford Dictionaries as the word of the year, owing to the 17,000% increase in its usage from a year ago.

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Obama selfie at Mandela memorial

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Just recently, at the memorial service of the beloved anti-apartheid hero former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, netizens went abuzz after seeing a photo of U.S. President Barack Obama taking a selfie with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron in their seats at the Soweto's World Cup stadium

Some questioned the candid and rare moment caught on camera, saying a memorial service of a beloved figure is not the right time to be taking selfies.

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The Papal selfie

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Even Pope Francis had his selfie, prompting various reactions on social media. The selfie, taken with some teenagers visiting the Vatican, was just one of the pope’s surprising acts that, many observers say, have changed the public perception of the Catholic Church

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Kapamilya stars take the MRT

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Selfies of local celebrities, of course, are a staple on social media. One of the buzz-worthy selfies this year is that of "Queen of All Media" Kris Aquino, who had her self-portrait taken inside a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train.

Kapamilya stars Jericho Rosales and Angel Locsin also had their share of selfies, this time inside a Light Rail Transit (LRT) coach for a scene in the upcoming ABS-CBN series “The Legal Wife”.

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Jericho Rosales and Angel Locsin pose for a selfie at an LRT station
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Napoles daughter takes selfie

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Similarly, a ‘selfie’ also figured in one of this year’s biggest news stories: Jeane Napoles, the daughter of alleged ‘pork barrel’ mastermind Janet who is detained on kidnapping charges and accused of diverting billions of public funds into bogus non-government organizations, was blasted in social media for selfies flaunting a Porsche her parents supposedly gave her. The young Napoles’ picture with President Aquino also drew talk of whether the chief executive knew the Napoleses.

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The 'Unselfie'

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While taking a selfie has been known to be mostly a narcissistic act, there was an attempt this year to make it cause-oriented through the “unselfie” movement when the country was struck by typhoon “Yolanda,” the strongest typhoon to ever hit land.

The social media initiative, started by advertising firm BBDO Guerrero, asked netizens to post a ‘selfie’ but with a piece of paper covering their faces.

Written on the piece of paper is a link to the website of UNICEF, where Internet users can give donations to “Yolanda” victims.

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Selfies that drew the ire of netizens

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Not all selfies, however, drew positive reactions among social media people. Last July, a woman was heavily criticized when she took a selfie of herself with a burning residential community in Makati in the background.

An alleged thief also caught the attention of netizens when he supposedly posted unwittingly a selfie of himself using a stolen phone. He has denied the allegations.

A selfie also landed a man in jail when he allegedly beat up her girlfriend for posting a sexy self-portrait.

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Twitter

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Meanwhile, social networking site Twitter, which is one of the more popular destinations for ‘selfies,’ rounded up this year’s biggest news, based on keywords that trended among its users.

Twitter said 2013’s “#GoldenTweets”, or tweets that generated the most retweets, are those from actress Lea Michelle making her first public comment since the death of television series ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith, and from the personal account of Paul Walker announcing the death of the “Fast and the Furious” actor.

At its peak, Michelle’s tweet was shared 408,266 times. The confirmation of Walker’s death came through numerous retweets of the post from his own account.

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