Selfie. The word itself is kind of silly. The variants are even sillier. There is the “welfie” (workout selfie), the “drelfie” (drunken selfie) and the ever-popular “bookshelfie” (taken in front of a bookshelf). Yet as silly as the word may be, it was the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2013.
It seems that everyone is taking them. From the President huddling with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s funeral (poor taste?) to Anthony Weiner (ugh!) to the ubiquitous Kardashians (how many of them are there, anyway?) — many varieties abound. According to Oxford, use of the word “selfie” was up an incredible 17,000 percent in 2013.
Before we give the word a proper and perhaps overdue send off, it might be useful for us to add one last category: the “helfie.” This would be a health care selfie. You know how to do it. Just hold your phone’s camera at arm’s length, make sure you look your best and… snap! Wait! What? Who is that tall guy with the white stars on his top hat photo bombing your selfie? It’s your wealthy uncle from Washington.
What a nuisance! He is in every shot. Will he ever go away? Not likely. He first began appearing in health care snapshots in the mid 1960s — long before anyone ever heard of a “selfie” — and he will probably be there for the foreseeable future.
While we can try to Photoshop him out, the best course of action might be to focus on the foreground rather than the background.
PPACA will continue to morph. Regulations will change over time to reflect realities on the ground. Politicians will come — and go.