Selfies. Even the word can come off as self-centered. Barely discernable landmarks, oblivious celebrities and current events blur behind odd faces, cocked heads and flashy grins. The word was, for better or worse, added to our lexicon this year, though it’s not always well understood (John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight featured an entire segment called “Newscasters Misidentifying Photos as Selfies”) – which is odd considering how very self-explanatory the term seems to be.1
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and selfies generally scream volumes about those who take and post them to their personal newsfeeds. As a writer, I like to think that words are worth quite a bit as well. A few well-chosen words could even out-value a self- snapped photo, posted among a string of nearly identical ones ( set apart only by a time stamp or a standard line of text) to one’s social media site of choice.
Thus dismayed by the reliance on selfies and in an effort to illustrate and celebrate the power of words, we give you the Six Word Selfie Challenge. In six words or fewer, describe yourself such that anyone would recognize you – who you really are. We need short descriptions like this for our email signature blocks, for our LinkedIn headlines and for our blog post footers. If who you are at work differs from who you are at home, who you are at your writing group, in class, at the gym, soccer practice or your favorite coffee shop, refrain from holding your latte and grinning above the brim of the cup and defining yourself with a *snap!* Instead, pause, ponder and type up six words that describe yourself there, meaningfully, in that moment.
Get started with your six word work selfie below. Post it, share it, tweet it – #sixwordselfie. Let’s make six little words worth a thousand of those familiar pixellizations.
Here are a few from people in our office:
- Whimsical instructional innovator, writer and lachrymovore
- Creatively Astute and Humorous Graphic Artist
- Persistent, Scrupulous, Pianist, Poet, Dancer, Husker
- My blog looks like a spreadsheet.
- Creative, determined, compassionate, friendly, curious