So apparently one of the things people whose cell phones have cameras in them do is take pictures of themselves. Which utterly fails to surprise me, because it strikes me that, given the ability to do so, it’s a very human thing to do. And they refer to these cell phone self-portraits as “selfies,” which again fails to surprise me, because a new phenomenon (or a new variation on an old phenomenon) needs a word to call it by, and word-making is another very human thing to do.

But apparently all sorts of other people have been getting all sorts of put out by the practice, or by the word for the practice, or both. And I’m perplexed as to why on earth it bothers them so much — surely it can’t be because a lot of the producers of selfies are young and a lot of them are female? Or is it because now the ability to produce a self-portrait is available to anyone with a cell phone camera, instead of being limited to the likes of Albrecht Dürer or Vincent Van Gogh?

Really, sometimes the things other people choose to view with alarm confuses me.