Dictionary.com Chooses ‘Privacy’ as the 2013 Word of the Year [Infographic]

By Kimberlee Morrison 

A couple weeks ago, the Oxford English Dictionary announced “selfie” as the word of the year. While “selfie” may have been a popular buzzword this year, along with twerk and hashtag, according to Dictionary.com, privacy was a preeminent concern in 2013. For this reason, Dictionary.com chose “privacy” as the 2013 word of the year.

“Many of us have embraced social media, choosing to volunteer intimate particulars and personal photographs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” the company wrote in a blog post. “this robust participation echoes an observation by Mark Zuckerberg in 2010 that the public’s comfort level with sharing personal information online is a ‘social norm’ that has ‘evolved over time.’”

To demonstrate just how important privacy was this year, Dictionary.com created an infographic outlining various privacy issues. From the launch of Vine “hampered by privacy problems” and Senate hearings on domestic drone use, to a Forbes revelation that Snapchat photos can be recovered and the PRISM scandal — there were major developments that made privacy a big deal this year.

Indeed, privacy in the digital age is a tricky concept, one tech companies keep trying to convince us doesn’t really exist the way we think should. Perhaps the truth many don’t want to admit is that most of us aren’t all that concerned about our privacy. Why else would we invite social media to our weddings and post selfies from funerals?

At the end of its blog post explaining why privacy was chosen as its word of the year, Dictionary.com wonders if the definition of the word is evolving. “…Does the definition of privacy need another clause? From whose intrusion do we want to be free? The government’s? Foreign governments’? Corporations’? Other individuals’? All of the above? The answer is the missing puzzle piece that we are deciding on together as the wavering definition of privacy solidifies.”

Check out the infographic below.

Featured image credit: g4ll4is