A what? What’s that?

Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A what? What’s that?

Along with the advent of texting and the abuse — for lack of a better word — of the English language by use of such shorthand terms from “thx” (thanks), “u” (you), “ur” (your and/or you’re), all the way up to “obvi” (obvious), comes a phenomenon called the “selfie.”

It’s quite a simple thing, a selfie. Since the first camera, or for that matter, first introspective artist, mankind has turned the lens on himself and made self-portraiture. That’s what a selfie is — it’s short for self-portrait — and with every cellphone, smartphone, Ipad and the like, the picture-taking capability included in them inspires many people to hold the camera at arms-length and indulge.

But this week the Governor’s Highway Safety Program is asking everyone to get out the camera and say cheese for a cause: seat belt safety. As part of its “Click It or Ticket” campaign, you — and that means you — are being asked to buckle up, grab the nearest camera and snap a picture of yourself because wearing a seat belt is the law. It doesn’t stop there, however: they want you to share your “#safetyselfie” with all your friends through Twitter, through Facebook, through whatever social media site will get the message across.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget to buckle up when you’re in hurry. Sometimes it might seem reasonable to not bother because “it’s just a short trip to the store, nothing’s going to happen.” But these days, a seat belt citation will cost you a whopping $161. Even if you’re not really paying attention to your safety or the safety of your passengers, be aware that not wearing a seat belt will cost you. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cost a life.

So this week, buckle up, smile for the camera, and if you like, send us your “#safetyselfie.” We’ll share it on our Facebook page for you.

Send your seat belt-safety self-portrait to news@thewashingtondailynews.com.