Sociology and psychology behind our obsession with selfies

The selfies overflowing in every social media space, with the subject of the ordinary everyday person up to him Papa or him Ομπάμα.

The word itself has been added to Online Dictionary of Oxford, and has led to a number of controversial slang terms, including " belfie "(A photo of the back of a person)," helfie "(A photo of his hair)," welfie ”(A photo during the gym) and” Ussie ”(A self-portrait of a group).

On Instagram alone, a search for “selfies”Gives results in over 230 million images.selfies

But have you ever wondered why do we do that? What really means putting selfies (self-portraits) as a social phenomenon?

Are we all becoming more and more narcissistic, or are selfies just a fun form of self-expression? Whether you like it or dislike them, self-portraits give us some fascinating ideas about human psychology.

sociology-and-psychologyEnthusiastic friends pull selfie in Namibia

Why are we doing this? THE Keith campbell , a professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina in the United States of America, suggests that one of the reasons we love selfies is because they serve as a creative outlet.

With smartphones and social media sites in our hands, it is easier than ever to express ourselves to a wide audience.

Speaking at, Mr. Campbell notes, “There are times when people use selfies as a form of artistic expression. It is a modern variation of a painter's self-portraits ".

Selfies also allow us to exercise greater control over how others see us and even online, and that is quite extravagant.

Thanks to the front camera lens of modern mobile phones, we can take countless photos of ourselves until we have an image that presents us exactly as we want it - an image that we are happy to share with the online world.

Interestingly, the latest surveys show that this "selective presentation of ourselves" can substantially enhance our self-esteem and stimulate our self-confidence.

And the potential benefits of self-portraits do not end there. There are some spontaneous and familiar quality selfies that have changed the way we demonstrate, share and remember our personal events. We do not collect any impersonal autographs when we meet a celebrity on the street, nor do we shoot postcards to share our memories of our travels.

Instead, we can capture a unique moment with us through our camera lens and share it with our friends right away. Like the Dr. Andrea Letamendi He points out, "Psychologically speaking, there can be some benefit if we share our self-portraits, because this practice is intertwined in our social culture and is a way to interact socially with others."

sociology-and-psychologyA group of friends taking self-portraits during a meal


sociology-and-psychologyYoung woman taking a self-portrait in the café by Peter Bernik

However, this is not all good news for self-portrait fans. More and more, researchers are suggesting a more serious concept in the trend of selfies, which suggests that selfies are a deeper psychological and social issue. In many ways, the rise of social media, combined with the prevalence of selfies, has increased the importance we place on our own appearances.

Η research has linked the selfies to insecurity and her self-focusing, with people asking for confirmation from others through likes and comments.

There is also a self-sustaining cycle involved in the self-portraits we share, explains the psychologist Jesse Fox "People who like self-focus post more selfies, which lead to more feedback from their friends on social media, which encourages them to post even more photos of themselves."

And if sharing information in social media can boost friendships, excessive narcissism, often associated with self-portraits, can be detrimental to the quality of our relationships. A study in the United Kingdom found that increased post-portraiture was associated with decreased intimacy with others.

The reason for this is that publishing many photos from our self may create the impression that you are shallow, in vain, or self-centered, and none of the previous adjectives are appealing to a friend or partner.

A female tourist gets self-portrait in Greece

However, we could equally argue that self-portraits could be used to challenge the ideals of beauty and appearance.

Writing in Psychology Today The Sarah J. Gervais notes: “I want to believe that Instagram offers a calm resistance to the barrage of perfect images we encounter every day. "Instead of being bombarded with these perfect creations, we can see through the messages of Instagram photos a wide variety of real people."

Source: Article of psychologist Leah Tierney, who works in Shutterstock's marketing

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