The Selfie Phenomenon

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selfie Selfie. It’s a new word coined by the social media generation. It means a self-portrait usually taken from a cellphone camera and posted to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

That’s my selfie on the left. My only other selfie is a picture of the back of my hand, where I had a henna tattoo from a weekend trip somewhere with work friends. I think I posted that in an old blog, but I can’t find it now. I don’t know if it’s an introvert thing, or maybe it’s just me, but I get so self-conscious when my photo is taken. Especially if it’s a solo picture. And I find it weird to be taking my own pictures then sharing it to the whole world.

Apparently, many others don’t share my view. People are posting selfies like crazy. On Instagram, there are more than 29 million posts with the hashtag #selfie alone. Variations of that tag, like #selfies and #selfiesunday also run in the millions. That doesn’t include other variants of the tag like #selfiesaturday, #selfiesfordays, and many more. A more popular hashtag for self portraits is #me. As shown below, the number of posts is more than 72 million!

 selfies on instagram

I tried to look  for data on Facebook, but the search turned in groups and pages for nude selfies at the top of the list. Lol!

What drives people to take a picture of themselves using their iPhones and Androids then post them online? Mashable has an article on “The Social Psychology of the Selfie.” Here’s my take:

For selfies taken at home, or on an ordinary day. Do selfie posters think of the camera as their mirror? By taking a picture, maybe they’re trying to look at and assess their image. By posting the pics online, maybe they’re inviting people to weigh in on their image. Maybe they’re looking for approval or acknowledgment from others that they look good.

For selfies taken during a special occasion, or while traveling. These ones I totally get. These pics are a remembrance of a special place and / or time.

For selfies taken when one is nude, almost nude, clearly drunk, doing something crazy embarrassing. I don’t know. Maybe these people crave for attention. Or they weren’t thinking clearly at the time the pic was taken.

For selfies taken by celebrities. Yes, it’s for the fans to take a look at their fabulous selves and a peek into their fabulous lives! Here, I think of Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and the Kardashian family. As if the pics taken by the paparazzi are not enough. Maybe they think that selfies are a way that they can control their image.

selfies on twitter

I don’t think posting selfies is a bad thing. I see selfies as part of social media, which can be a source of information or entertainment or both. But if you do that everyday or most days, maybe you need to work on your self-image? But this is me the introvert thinking out loud. If selfies are your thing and they make you happy, go ahead and post away! I don’t have to look at them, right?

So tell me, why do you do selfies? 😎



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