“Hold on, can we just take a selfie”, is a phrase I find myself saying every single time I go out with friends without fail. Over the past few years, selfies have become something almost everyone with a phone or camera does. In 2013, the term “selfie” was even put in the Oxford Dictionary!
Selfie – A photograph that one has taken on oneself, typically taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media
In order to take the perfect selfie, you must make sure you have good lighting, flawless makeup, position your face in the most flattering angle and make sure you take no less than 20 of the same photo to pick out the best one. If all these things are done correctly, then you are almost guaranteed to get at least 100 likes on each selfie posted on Instagram. If you get the likes, then you get the followers flowing in, leading you straight down the hallway to being “Insta-famous”.
Selfies have become one of the biggest photography trends of our time. The majority of people post selfies on social media sites to create an image of themselves that they want their friends and everyone else to view them as. Selfies can be seen as a form of control, as you choose when, where and how you take the photo, compared to someone else taking it in bad lighting or when you weren’t ready yet. An invisible set of rules and standards have been made when posting and taking selfies that you need to follow in order to “fit in” or get the most likes and followers.
There are some people who go through great lengths just to make sure that the person in the photo is exactly the person they want people to see. It can be crazy what some people go through to make sure they hide their flaws, in order to curate their best online self. I know some of my friends, and my 16 year old sister in particular can be the biggest culprit of this. My sister and her friends can be very conscious of what is posted on Instagram and Facebook of them, to the point where they end up yelling at each other saying “omg no stop this is so gross” or “omg that was my bad side, take another one”, and then they go through the process of making people untag them in photos and even delete them if they think its that bad.
Is all the stuff that people go through to post the perfect selfie really worth it? Petya Eckler, of the University of Strathclyde conducted a recent study and spoke to several hundred female students in regards to taking selfies. The team found that spending time on Facebook looking at selfies is linked to negative feelings about body image.. Another study conducted by Ohio State University, found that men who posted more photos of themselves scored higher in measures of narcissism and psychopathy. The researches also found that editing photos of oneself was associated with higher levels of self-objectification.
Sometimes it can be frightening to see the negative impact that a selfie or a single number of likes can ruin someones self-esteem so quickly. Nevertheless, no matter how much I hate to admit it, I am and will always be a sucker for a good selfie.