Hashtag UNselfie

Titled the word of the year 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary, “selfie” is a concept that few members of the social media society have managed to elude at this point. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (among others) are becoming increasingly populated by selfies – photos taken by a user of him/herself, most commonly with the help of their camera phone.

To turn this fairly recent, largely vain occurrence into a movement beneficial for the society, then, seems like a rather brilliant idea. The word “unselfie” itself is meant to symbolize exactly that: an unselfish, non-egocentric selfie, making it a curious oxymoron.

If interested in participating, all one has to do is write down on a piece of paper the name of a charity he or she supports (financially or otherwise) and hold it up in front of his/her own face while taking a selfie. Posting this to social media of choice with the hashtag #unselfie will inform others of the existence of this charity and inspire them to get engaged.

The unselfie notion quickly became popularized after its introduction to the online world. It is often seen used in combination with #GivingTuesday, distinguishing the charitable campaign which premiered last year. In 2012, Giving Tuesday – scheduled to come the week following Thanksgiving – generated a record high buzz on Twitter and helped increase total online donations by nearly 50 percent, according to DonorPerfect, as well as raising the average gift amount by one quarter.

Utilizing #unselfie is a clever idea: with social media rapidly increasing in its importance as a prominent news platform; it is optimal for vocalizing and promoting various non-profit organizations in a simple and hip movement effectively reaching out to the masses.

In light of recent tragic events, the unselfie campaign was widely utilized for providing support of the thousands of devastated super typhoon victims in the Philippines. Participants proactively posted their unselfies with addresses to websites through which it’s possible to donate towards the cause.

If one person donates as little as one dollar, but posts a photo of themselves promoting the foundation to, for example, Facebook, on which that person may have five hundred friends, that is a $500 opportunity already, not to mention if others decide to do the same after seeing the #unselfie. This chain reaction is just what the creators of the unselfie trend hope to achieve.

– Natalia Isaeva

Sources: Forbes, Huffington Post, Giving Tuesday, GMA News
Photo: Mashable